Hackage trustee selection process

Simon Peyton Jones simonpj at microsoft.com
Thu Jun 4 08:24:59 UTC 2020

Thanks Gershom, that’s really useful information. Is this structure written down in a persistent form on a web page somewhere?

Currently I can see

  *   Haskell.org committee<https://wiki.haskell.org/Haskell.org_committee> wiki page.  It lists members and their terms, but makes no mention of oversight of the Hackage admins
  *   Hackages admins. I can find no wiki page, but Google turned up this list<https://hackage.haskell.org/users/admins/>.   I think it would be really helpful to have a page describing the role and powers.
  *   Hackage trustees<https://wiki.haskell.org/Hackage_trustees> wiki page, which in turn points to a list of the trustees. The page carefully describes what the trustees can and cannot do.
  *   Core Libraries Committee<https://wiki.haskell.org/Core_Libraries_Committee>.

If the Hackage admins are above the trustees in the chain of command Gershom describes, perhaps we could ask David’s questions about the Hackage admins too?

In the olden days the community was small and everyone knew everyone else. As our community grows (a good thing) it becomes increasingly important to have transparent, accountable processes.   This is not an expression of distrust – we are all incredibly grateful to the admins and trustees who spend evenings and weekends working on our behalf.  Quite the contrary: open and transparent processes can protect those same people from unjustified criticism.  Plus, it becomes much easier to draw in new contributors (eg new trustees and admins) if the role, and process for joining, is visible.

Concretely, it would be great to make sure that each group has a page saying at least

  *   Role & responsibilities
  *   Members (and terms if appropriate – with explanation if not)
  *   Chair or co-chairs
  *   Mechanism for appointing new member
  *   The appropriate email address for writing to the committee
  *   Relationship to other Haskell groups

Gershom, when you say “Importantly, trustees do not set policy for hackage, though they may raise concerns or suggestions which decision-making bodies may consider", which other decision making bodies did you have mind?



From: Libraries <libraries-bounces at haskell.org> On Behalf Of Gershom B
Sent: 04 June 2020 05:29
To: Haskell Libraries <libraries at haskell.org>; David Feuer <david.feuer at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Hackage trustee selection process

I agree there is no formal process for selecting trustees, and it would be good to codify one. Good point, David!

I do not think there should be terms — the post is intended to be purely administrative/technical, not one of oversight.

Here is the chain of command: Hackage trustees are delegated powers by hackage admins, who in turn serve under the oversight of the haskell.org committee. They are only supposed to act within their delegated authority, which is determined by the hackage admins in conjunction with the haskell.org committee. They do not form a “committee” or “subcommittee" with any sort of independent collective decision making, though of course they consult on particular technical issues (and thus there is no comparison with the CLC). Importantly, trustees do not set policy for hackage, though they may raise concerns or suggestions which decision-making bodies may consider.

Typically, when a new trustee has been proposed, they have been accepted on the basis of a consensus discussion. The “process” if there is an issue is that the hackage admins and haskell.org committee can act as necessary (up to and including removing trustees), because the trustees do not constitute an independent body, just people with some limited delegated rights on the hackage server.

Speaking of which, we could use more trustees if people want to volunteer. I warn you, it is very boring (but necessary).

On Jun 3, 2020, 6:16 PM -0400, David Feuer <david.feuer at gmail.com<mailto:david.feuer at gmail.com>>, wrote:

At present, there is no process for selecting Hackage trustees, there are no designated terms for them, and there is no process for removing them. This strikes me as most unfortunate. We trust that these folks will manage Hackage for the benefit of the community, but there is no process the community can rely on for ensuring the right people have trustee powers. Can we fix this situation?

A couple specific suggestions:

1. Perhaps the Hackage trustees can adopt organizational standards similar to those of the Core Library Committee to get things going quickly.

2. Perhaps the CLC should be able to designate a certain number of its own members as Hackage trustees.
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