Proposal: Change to library proposal process

wren ng thornton wren at
Sat Jan 8 08:32:20 CET 2011

On 1/6/11 3:11 PM, Chris Dornan wrote:
> Speaking as such a developer,  I agree with Howard: can we please strongly
> encourage upwards compatibility in API changes and well-documented migration
> paths when this is not practical.
> I was somewhat surprised to see maintainers being given carte blanche to
> break APIs, package-maintainers and developers not always having the same
> interests.

Speaking only for myself, I think there is definite need for a carte 
blanche--- but we may only need one (or a few) instead of an endless 
supply of them. Namely, there is definite need for the wholesale 
revision being discussed elsewhere; and in order to have free reign for 
the big bang changes, it needs a carte.

However, I agree that as a general model of maintaining core libraries, 
these cartes should be in short supply in order to accommodate those who 
require stability. Not long ago (circa GHC-6.8) there was much 
instability and that put a lot of folks off. While upwards compatibility 
is desirable when at all possible, there must be enough room for people 
to make breaking changes when necessary. Even folks working on kernels, 
distros, and enterprisey things recognize this need. The only issue to 
be resolved is how to make such changes in an orderly fashion.

Live well,

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