Stepping back: what do we want from platform releases?
wren ng thornton
wren at community.haskell.org
Mon May 11 19:15:10 EDT 2009
Duncan Coutts wrote:
> So we must consider what we are asking users, distributors, developers
> and maintainers to do.
> Remember also that we are not preventing developers from releasing new
> features in their Hackage releases and that the platform gives end users
> the tools necessary to get those latest and greatest releases. So in
> comparison to other systems we actually have a much better release valve
> for the pressure to get new features to users quickly.
Personally, I think the point of the HP should not include "get new
features to users quickly", but rather should have the different focus
of "get communally-accepted features to users quickly".
As you say, Hackage covers the former quite well already. Haskell is an
experimental language (and that's a good thing), but not all experiments
are successful. Hackage provides an excellent playground for having
these experiments in front of a large audience in order to tease out
their feasibility. Since the platform is an attempt to collect the
community consensus on what "good Haskell" is (in addition to the
one-click-install goal), I think therefore that "new" is not the
appropriate metric for feature inclusion.
I don't think the HP committee should get bogged down in questions of
deciding what the community considers good, but for the majority of
cases the answers should be obvious. When the current Haskell community
would obviously include something, then it should be included in the HP
so that newcomers can easily install and become familiar with things the
community assumes familiarity with. Similarly, when a current community
member assumes familiarity with these basic tools, their code should be
able to make the same assumptions. Developers have an intuition for
which libraries are canon vs which are "real" dependencies, and it seems
like the HP vs Hackage should capture the flavor of that distinction.
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