Participation in Cabal / Hackage development

Duncan Coutts duncan.coutts at
Tue Jan 20 06:46:17 EST 2009

On Sun, 2009-01-18 at 17:04 +0000, Thomas DuBuisson wrote:
> On Sat, Jan 17, 2009 at 6:40 PM, Duncan Coutts
> <duncan.coutts at> wrote:
> > All,
> >
> > I just mentioned ideas for Cabal 2 but I should also like to talk about
> > how we can go about increasing participation in the development effort.
> > We currently have nearly 200 open tickets which include many important
> > bugs and no shortage of good ideas for useful new features.
> >
> >        Our limiting factor is developer time.
> >
> > Most of us use the Cabal / Hackage system in one way or another. Most of
> > us are familiar with its annoyances and limitations. Unfortunately the
> > number of people helping out has dropped rather in the past year or so.
> >
> > Perhaps we should run a little poll like the darcs hackers did to find
> > out what we could do to increase participation so we can get on with
> > building the tools that we all want, but a bit more quickly.
> First, I'd like to thank Duncan for all the hard work on
> Cabal/cabal-install. 

Ta :-)

> It seems you're a little irritated by the lack
> of fellow developers - which doesn't seem like an uncommon problem
> lately as we've seen from Darcs and also a YHC mailing from Neil.

I'm not irritated, but I'm well aware that we have a lot of work that
everyone wants us to do and we're not getting it done as quickly as
anybody would like.

> In my case, its been a lack of time and some shame over not following
> through last time I intended to contribute to Cabal.  As for running a
> poll, I don't have anything to blame my lack of participation on
> except time.  This situation will hopefully change over the coming
> months and I'll contribute to the community more.

Yes, I know lack of time is the main thing for most people. I just want
to check that there are not too many other hurdles in people's way. For
example people used to complain about the difficulty in understanding
the code. I hope that's improved a bit and that the code guide you
mention helps. Improving it further is of course one of the things we
need help with. There may be other things of course that I can't see,
being a bit too close to the project.

I'm glad to hear you're going to try to make time. It's much

> For those looking at contributing, don't go to the cabal home page but
> the hackage homepage.  For example, I just found:

Yes, amongst other resources linked from


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