Deciding on the decision model for adding and excluding packages

Simon Marlow marlowsd at
Mon Aug 3 08:31:56 EDT 2009

On 01/08/2009 23:16, Don Stewart wrote:
> We need to start thinking about how to add or exclude packages from the
> Haskell Platform.
> I've written a summary of the discussion so far for evidence-based
> critieria for deciding on package notability.
> Please read it over and think about what the decision model looks like.
> So we can feed data in, to make decisions on how to include/exclude packages.

 From that page, it looks like all the automatic procedures for deciding 
the top packages result in packages that we don't want in the platform 
for one reason or another.

I'd argue against having a points system: such things also tend to 
produce unsatisfactory results, so you end up tweaking the weightings to 
get the results you did want.  OTOH, the set of criteria you outlined 
for evaluating packages are good, but they should be used as a set of 
guidelines rather than a way to make decisions.  In practice we'll 
probably find that there are criteria not on the list that end up being 
more important, e.g. utf8-string is immensely popular but is a stopgap 
measure and we don't really want to endorse its use, and 
extensible-exceptions is essentially a backwards-compatibility shim, so 
we don't want it in for similar reasons (OTOH, what about base3?).

I suggest the best way forward is to identify needs: we need a package 
that provides a certain functionality, so look at what is available and 
go from there.  If the available packages aren't suitable for one reason 
or another, then feed that back to the maintainers and the community.

On a concrete note, I think we should seriously consider putting gtk2hs 
in the platform.  As someone pointed out recently (I forget who, sorry!) 
the point of the platform is to give you the hard-to-install pieces, and 
gtk2hs is one such piece.  Having gtk2hs would be a significant step up 
in terms of functionality, though.


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