Can we move bytestring to github?

Ian Lynagh ian at
Tue Feb 12 20:12:16 CET 2013

On Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 08:15:51PM -0800, Bryan O'Sullivan wrote:
> I know you're fond of darcs, but it's well established by experience that
> we'll get many more contributions (both patches and problem reports) on
> github.

Have you got any evidence for that?

I've just skimmed the "RFC: migrating to git" thread on
glasgow-haskell-users@ in Jan 2011, and a handful of people gave some
sort of indication that they might contribute (or contribute more) if
GHC and its libraries switched to git. However, looking for them in the
git commit logs (which admittedly isn't necessarily going to find all
contributions from them, but it's the best I can easily do) for the
almost-2-years since we migrated finds very few patches from them:

Adam Wick <awick at>
    And just to show that you can't make everyone happy ... I'll put in an
    equal-and-opposite vote  from Malcolm. GHC's use of darcs is a blocker
    for me even thinking about doing any work on GHC or the related
    libraries; my limited experience with darcs has been terrible, and the
    swearing I've heard about darcs makes me think my experience was not
    unique. Switching to git would make the chance that I'd do work on GHC
$ ./sync-all log --since "1 April 2011" | grep -i Wick

Daniel Peebles <pumpkingod at>
    I fully support this (especially if it lived on github), but we should
    probably sort the top contributors to GHC in the past year or so and
    consider their opinions on the matter in that order :) I certainly would not
    be on that list. A git(hub)-based workflow would however facilitate any
    minor contributions I might make (and I'd imagine those of many others).
$ ./sync-all log --since "1 April 2011" | grep -i "Peebles\|pumpkin"
<finds 4 patches, of which 3 are really one change split over 3 repos>
$ ./sync-all log --before "1 April 2011" | grep -i "Peebles\|pumpkin"
<finds 2 patches, related to a single change>

Chris Dornan <chris at>
    I suspect a transition to Git would work out well in the long run and
    make the GHC sources more accessible.
$ ./sync-all log --since "1 April 2011" | grep -i Dornan
<finds 10 patches, but they're all in xhtml, which is maintained by Chris>

Norman Ramsey <nr at>
    I'd be thrilled to see GHC migrate to git, and I'd be much more likely
    to make new contributions to the back end.
$ ./sync-all log --since "1 April 2011" | grep -i Ramsey
<12 lines match, but all in hoopl, which is maintained by Norman>

Trevor Elliott <trevor at>
    I am very interested in contributing to GHC, though the state of
    development with darcs makes me hesitate.  A switch to git would make
    contribution to the project much easier.
$ ./sync-all log --since "1 April 2011" | grep -i Trevor 
Author: Trevor Elliott <trevor at>

I skipped 2 people, but I believe they both did internships at MSR
and/or a SoC project involving working on GHC, so I don't think they
necessarily tell us much about the VCS choice.

David Peixotto <dmp at>
    As an infrequent contributor I would welcome the move to git. I think the
    biggest advantage from my perspective would be enabling branches which I
    have avoided up to now because of the painful process I hear about from
Max Bolingbroke <batterseapower at>
    Well, as a sometime-contributor I would certainly be happier hacking
    on GHC if it were git based.


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