Stepping back: what do we want from platform releases?

Bryan O'Sullivan bos at
Mon May 11 14:13:16 EDT 2009

On Sun, May 10, 2009 at 12:34 PM, Duncan Coutts <duncan.coutts at
> wrote:

> So
> what is the additional purpose of platform releases?
>      * Getting new features into the hands of users. Not everyone wants
>        to download the latest and greatest from hackage. They want to
>        use things tested together but still want new stuff
>        occasionally.

This tangentially captures something that is important, but which I think
deserves a much more prominent mention as an explicit goal: providing a
"blessed" set of libraries that is large enough to be useful for many common
programming tasks. In fact, I'd even suggest that the goal not just be to
round out the collection of useful libraries, but that they be "good"
according to criteria of efficiency, quality, and documentation, too. For
instance, the Platform is currently missing a library for XML processing,
but the obvious candidates on Hackage don't (in my eyes, at least) meet most
of my criteria of "good".

It might be that identifying those gaps in "well roundedness" would be a
helpful step towards encouraging the more focused development of suitable
libraries, which I think would be a very good piece of fall-out from the
Platform process.
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