Proposal: Expanding the CLC

Julian Ospald hasufell at
Fri Feb 12 06:46:12 UTC 2021


my opinion is that we should develop a zero tolerance towards unresponsive maintainership.

Contributors shouldn't have to escalate on the ML and shouldn't have to request package takeovers. These things are awkward and require more dedication than necessary to be a valuable co-maintainer.

The CLC should proactively scan for popular packages that require new maintainer juice, contact the current maintainers and call for help on the ML (whether core/boot/something-else doesn't really matter to me... redefine the CLC competencies if you must).

I've had many PRs over the years that took 6-12 months for a response. This is not an acceptable response time.


On February 11, 2021 11:54:19 PM UTC, Emily Pillmore <emilypi at> wrote:
>Hi All,
>Over the past year, two things have become increasingly clear to me as
>I've carried out my CLC duties:
>1. The CLC is under-resourced. This is evidenced by the fact that
>several maintainers who are not CLC members have been forced to step up
>to help take on some of the maintenance burden for many of the CLC
>libraries. Namely, `vector`, `bytestring`, `random`, `unix`, and more.
>The current CLC head count is not enough to dedicate at least one
>maintainer per package, which is leading to us all being spread thin,
>and the less-loved packages are falling into disrepair as a result.
>Couple this with the fact that roughly half the CLC do not have these
>packages actively within their maintenance cycles, and we arrive at the
>current problem.
>2. The current set of "core" libraries does not cover what is generally
>considered "core" in the community. From now on, I'll refer to "core"
>packages as "boot" packages, and identify core packages to be those
>that are have proven to be incredibly popular tools for building things
>in Haskell. For example `zlib`, `parsec`, `regex-base`, `regex-posix`,
>`network`, etc. In particular, if any of these core packages saw their
>current authors disappear, or incapacitated in any sense, it would
>seriously harm the Haskell ecosystem. `cabal-install`, for example,
>requires several of those packages as upstream dependencies. Currently,
>we are dealing with this nightmare situation where work is stalled
>across many packages due to a particular set of maintainers being very
>difficult to reach, one of whom having disappeared completely for all
>maintenance intents and purposes.
>Ergo, we have a problem. Thankfully, many people have stepped up
>showing renewed interest in maintaining such packages with the latest
>crop of CLC folks, and this poses an interesting opportunity.
>My proposal is this:
>1. We expand the CLC from 9 members to 22 members such that we have at
>least 1 CLC maintainer per boot package. There are a large number of
>fantastic candidates already available, who would be perfect for the
>role. In fact, many of the candidates whom we would ask are already
>maintaining these packages. In particular, Andrew Lelechenko, Simon
>Jakobi, Viktor Dukhovni, Dominic Steinitz, Alexey Khuedyakov are
>already serving within this role (and thank you for it!). Andreas Abel
>has also offered to help take on one of the core packages.
>2. We consider a dedicated "Haskell Action Team" (name and idea
>courtesy of Carter Schonwald) to oversee packages in the Haskell github
>repo that can act as supplementary maintainers for many of the core
>packages contained therein. Currently, there are many in need of help.
>`zlib` comes to mind, which is currently blocking `bytestring-0.11`
>migration work due to having no available maintainer with the
>permissions to do a release. This, in turn, is stalling
>`cabal-install`. Short of taking over the package, we would have to ask
>for an emergency Hackage release if the neither maintainer shows up to
>do it in a reasonable time frame.
>This is just one step towards helping ease the burden of maintenance of
>so-called core and boot packages. I hope you agree that this is a good
>idea, and if we get enough thumbs up, then Chessai and I will draw up
>the necessary changes to the CLC remit and we'll get started!
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