Contribution vs quality, and a few notes on the Platform process

Ross Paterson ross at
Mon Nov 8 20:16:59 EST 2010

On Mon, Nov 08, 2010 at 10:13:34PM +0000, Ian Lynagh wrote:
> One criticism that I feel I've seen a lot, about the standard libraries
> of many languages, is that they are inconsistent; [...]
> My hope is that the Haskell Platform can avoid this, and therefore that
> we will use a process that helps us avoid it.

That the process should address such concerns is a logical consequence
of the current model of the Haskell Platform as a sort of standard,
making choices on behalf of users.  This model seems to be unworkable.

An alternative model would be like a Linux distribution: a selection
of package versions that have been tested to work together on different
platforms.  Packages would have to meet the package requirements listed
on the AddingPackages page (all fairly objective), but would not have
to have distinct functionality or meet any other subjective criterion.
The test for inclusion (or retention) would be involve weighing the
number of users of the package against its maintainance cost.

That would be unlikely to produce consistency, but it seems more

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