Proposal: Change to library proposal process

Chris Dornan chris at
Sat Jan 8 16:56:31 CET 2011

I quite agree. I too would very much like to see a new set of cleaned-up
libraries, freed from the need to slavishly maintain upwards compatibility
with the current libraries, warts and all.


My problem was with issuing a general carte blanche allowing any package
maintainer to break an API without discussion.




From: libraries-bounces at [mailto:libraries-bounces at]
On Behalf Of wren ng thornton
Sent: 08 January 2011 07:32
To: libraries at
Subject: Re: Proposal: Change to library proposal process


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
> 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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