Platform policy question: API compatability in minor releases

Duncan Coutts duncan.coutts at
Sat May 9 20:44:25 EDT 2009

On Sat, 2009-05-09 at 19:50 +0100, Duncan Coutts wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> We (the platform release team) have a policy question about the Haskell
> Platform. We're asking here because we think the libraries list is the
> right authority to decide.
> The Haskell Platform concept calls for major and minor releases. 

I should probably point out the strategy we are trying to implement:
time based releases rather than feature based.

An excellent source on this issue is Martin Michlmayr's PhD thesis in
which he argues for time based releases:

        Quality Improvement in Volunteer Free and Open Source Software
        Projects: Exploring the Impact of Release Management

It is extremely relevant to us. He surveys many similar projects like
GCC, GNOME, Debian and others.

>From the abstract:

        This dissertation explores why, and under which circumstances,
        the time based release strategy is a viable alternative to
        feature-driven development and discusses factors that influence
        a successful implementation of this release strategy. It is
        argued that this release strategy acts as a coordination
        mechanism in large volunteer projects that are geographically
        dispersed. The time based release strategy allows a more
        controlled development and release process in projects which
        have little control of their contributors and therefore
        contributes to the quality of the output.

Shorter references, pertaining to GNOME:


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