[Haskell-cafe] Committee M.O. Change Proposals

Geoffrey Mainland mainland at apeiron.net
Wed Oct 21 20:04:04 UTC 2015

Thanks for the background, Edward.

I don't mean to question the composition of the committee, only to start
a discussion about how the community might handle the selection process
going forward. I apologize if I was not clear about that. As I said
below, if a direct vote resulted in the same committee we would have had
under the current system, I would consider that a success!

We may also see a larger nomination pool in the future :)


On 10/21/2015 03:54 PM, Edward Kmett wrote:
> The committee was formed from a pool of suggestions supplied to SPJ
> that represented a fairly wide cross-section of the community.
> Simon initially offered both myself and Johan Tibell the role of
> co-chairs. Johan ultimately declined.
> In the end, putting perhaps too simple a spin on it, the initial
> committee was selected: Michael Snoyman for commercial interest, Mark
> Lentczner representing the needs of the Platform and implementation
> concerns, Brent Yorgey on the theory side, Doug Beardsley representing
> practitioners, Joachim Breitner had expressed interest in working on
> split base, which at the time was a much more active concern, Dan Doel
> represented a decent balance of theory and practice.
> Since then we had two slots open up on the committee, and precisely
> two self-nominations to fill them, which rather simplified the
> selection process. Brent and Doug rotated out and Eric Mertens and
> Luite Stegeman rotated in.
> Technically, yes, we are self-selected going forward, based on the
> precedent of the haskell.org <http://haskell.org> committee and
> haskell-prime committees, but you'll note this hasn't actually been a
> factor yet as there hasn't been any decision point reached where that
> has affected a membership decision.
> -Edward
> On Wed, Oct 21, 2015 at 8:31 AM, Geoffrey Mainland
> <mainland at apeiron.net <mailto:mainland at apeiron.net>> wrote:
>     On 10/21/2015 07:55 AM, Herbert Valerio Riedel wrote:
>     > Hello, > > On 2015-10-21 at 02:39:57 +0200, Geoffrey Mainland
>     wrote: > > [...]
>     > >> In effect, only those who actively follow the libraries list have
>     had a >> voice in these decisions. Maybe that is what the community
>     wants. I hope >> not. How then can people like me (and Henrik and
>     Graham) have a say >> without committing to actively following the
>     libraries list? >>  >> We have a method to solve this: elected
>     representatives. Right now the >> Core Libraries Committee elects its
>     own members; perhaps it is time for >> that to change. > > [...] > >>
>     Proposal 1: Move to community election of the members of the Core >>
>     Libraries Committee. Yes, I know this would have its own issues. >
>     > How
>     exactly do public elections of representatives address the problem >
>     that some people feel left out? Have you considered nominating
>     yourself
>     > or somebody else you have confidence in for the core libraries >
>     committee? You'd still have to find somebody to represent your >
>     interests, regardless of whether the committee is self-elected or >
>     direct-elected. > > Here's some food for thought regarding language
>     design by voting or its > indirect form via a directly elected
>     language
>     committee: > > Back in February there was a large-scale survey which
>     resulted (see [2] > for more details) in a rather unequivocal 4:1
>     majority *for* going > through with the otherwise controversial FTP
>     implementation. If the > community elections would result in a similar
>     spirit, you'd could easily > end up with a similarly 4:1 pro-change
>     biased committee. Would you > consider that a well balanced committee
>     formation?
>     Thanks, all good points.
>     It is quite possible that direct elections would produce the exact
>     same
>     committee. I wouldn't see that as a negative outcome at all! At least
>     that committee would have been put in place by direct election; I
>     would
>     see that as strengthening their mandate.
>     I am very much aware of the February survey. I wonder if Proposal
>     2, had
>     it been in place at the time, would have increased participation
>     in the
>     survey.
>     The recent kerfuffle has caught the attention of many people who don't
>     normally follow the libraries list. Proposal 1 is an attempt to give
>     them a voice. Yes, they would still need to find a candidate to
>     represent their interests. If we moved to direct elections, I would
>     consider running. However, my preference is that Proposal 3 go through
>     in some form, in which case my main concern would be the Haskell Prime
>     committee, and unfortunately nominations for that committee have
>     already
>     closed.
>     >> Proposal 2: After a suitable period of discussion on the
>     libraries list, >> the Core Libraries Committee will summarize the
>     arguments for and >>
>     against a proposal and post it, along with a (justified)
>     preliminary >>
>     decision, to a low-traffic, announce-only email list. After another >>
>     suitable period of discussion, they will issue a final decision.
>     What is
>     >> a suitable period of time? Perhaps that depends on the
>     properties of
>     the >> proposal, such as whether it breaks backwards
>     compatibility. > >
>     That generally sounds like a good compromise, if this actually helps >
>     reaching the otherwise unreachable parts of the community and have
>     their
>     > voices heard.
>     My hope is that a low-volume mailing list would indeed reach a wider
>     audience.
>     >> Proposal 3: A decision regarding any proposal that
>     significantly affects >> backwards compatibility is within the
>     purview of the Haskell Prime
>     >> Committee, not the Core Libraries Committee. > > I don't see
>     how that
>     would change much. The prior Haskell Prime > Committee has been
>     traditionally self-elected as well. So it's just the > label of the
>     committee you'd swap out. > > In the recent call of nominations[1] for
>     Haskell Prime, the stated area > of work for the new nominations
>     was to
>     take care of the *language* part, > because that's what we are lacking
>     the workforce for. > > Since its creation for the very purpose of
>     watching over the core > libraries, the core-libraries-committee has
>     been almost exclusively busy > with evaluating and deciding about
>     changes to the `base` library and > overseeing their implementation.
>     Transferring this huge workload to the > new Haskell Prime committee
>     members who have already their hands full > with revising the language
>     part would IMO just achieve to reduce the > effectiveness of the
>     upcoming Haskell Prime committee, and therefore > increase the risk of
>     failure in producing an adequate new Haskell Report > revision.
>     My understanding is that much of the work of the core libraries
>     committee does not "significantly affect backwards compatibility," at
>     least not to the extent that MRP does. If this is the case, the
>     bulk of
>     their workload would not be transferred to the new Haskell Prime
>     committee. Is my understanding incorrect?
>     The intent of Proposal 3 was to transfer only a small fraction of the
>     issues that come before the core libraries committee to the Haskell
>     Prime committee. In any case, we would certainly need to clarify what
>     "significantly affects backwards compatibility" means.
>     Perhaps we should consider direct elections for the Haskell Prime
>     committee as well as changing their mandate to include some subset of
>     the changes proposed to libraries covered by the Haskell Report. My
>     understanding of the current state of affairs is that the Haskell
>     Prime
>     committee is charged with producing a new report, but the core
>     libraries
>     committee is in charge of the library part of that report. Is that
>     correct?
>     Cheers,
>     Geoff
>     > Regards, >   H.V.Riedel > >  [1]:
>     https://mail.haskell.org/pipermail/haskell-prime/2015-September/003936.html
>     >  [2]:
>     https://mail.haskell.org/pipermail/haskell-cafe/2015-February/118336.html

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