[Haskell-cafe] [ANNOUNCE] GHC 8.8.1 is now available

Ben Gamari ben at well-typed.com
Wed Oct 30 03:11:04 UTC 2019

Fumiaki Kinoshita <fumiexcel at gmail.com> writes:

> Any updates? It's a crisis that the standard library is unavailable on
> Hackage...
I agree; having a release out for two months without full representation
on Hackage is quite suboptimal. Unfortunately, the Hackage trustees have
quite a bit on their plate. I have spoken to Herbert, who usually
handles the boot library uploads, several times about this and I have
gleaned that the situation is as follows:

 * hackage-server needs to be updated to Cabal-3, tested, and the
   deployment updated before the remaining boot packages can be uploaded
   (admittedly I'm not familiar with the technical reasons for this
   dependency, but this is what I have been told)

   This is an area where a dedicated volunteer could help enormously.
   hackage-server is just another Haskell program (albeit one lacking
   contributors); all that updating it would require is time.

 * Herbert has said that he also wants to take a careful look through
   the packages before uploading them to ensure that no serious mistakes
   are committed permanently to the Hackage cache

For what it is worth, I have asked several times whether I can help with
the upload process but have been turned down repeatedly. I can't
claim that I fully understand the reasoning behind this, but I can
nevertheless respect the decision.

I also am reluctant to make demands on the time of others. In particular,
the trustees are all volunteers with lives and jobs who carry out often
quite thankless work. We all owe them an enormous debt of gratitude for
maintaining the infrastructure that we rely on every day, usually
without thinking twice.

I wish I could offer a clever idea for accelerating this process; sadly,
the problem seems to be an unfortunate combination of technical
dependencies (e.g. the boot library upload requiring a hackage-server
update), a lack of contributors to help resolve this dependency, and
a small but very busy set of core contributors.

It seems to me that it would be best if we could grow the set of people
who are regularly involved in Hackage administration to avoid this
happening in the future. However, this will require that people who
don't mind doing a bit of less-than-thrilling work (e.g. updating
hackage-server) pitch in.


- Ben

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