Proposal: Expanding the CLC

Carter Schonwald carter.schonwald at
Sun Feb 14 00:01:52 UTC 2021

I agree with your articulated long term goal points, I just worry that
we’re not investing in the right structures of organization to support
that.  I’m more than happy to be wrong though

On Sat, Feb 13, 2021 at 3:03 PM John Ericson <john.ericson at>

> Yeah I strongly agree with the sentiments here, and the concrete measures.
> Thank you, Emily, for proposing them.
> I assume some people will be worried about undermining the prerogative of
> individual maintainers. My view is this *not* a good reason to "hold the
> CLC back". A bit off topic, but In the long term, I am optimistic for
> technical solutions to make dealing with libraries and versions,
> alternative ecosystems, etc. easier. Basically I want it all---both
> collaborative ownership and authorship, and healthy decentralized
> experimentation---and I think that's possible.
> John
> On 2/12/21 1:46 AM, Julian Ospald wrote:
> Hi,
> 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.
> Cheers,
> Julian
> On February 11, 2021 11:54:19 PM UTC, Emily Pillmore <emilypi at>
> <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!
>> Cheers,
>> Emily
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