Proposal: Expanding the CLC

John Ericson john.ericson at
Mon Feb 15 18:07:36 UTC 2021


It's not exactly clear to me where your two proposals differ? It seems 
like Emily said "bigger CLC" with HAT, while you are saying a separate 
org, perhaps with the CLC inside the HAT? I'm guessing the idea there is 
to make the degree of control inversely vary with the number of 
libraries in the purview?

 > I do worry that some Libs that fall under clc atm / as of the spring 
are likely to never have serious evolution / improvement. But that’s a 
different issue.

Yes I would like to get into that at some point too. (Pithily put, my 
view is chop up each library until its contents are uncontroversial.) 
This is what makes me less concerned about the difference between a 
bigger CLC and rings of orgs.


On 2/13/21 7:01 PM, Carter Schonwald wrote:
> 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> wrote:
>     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> <mailto: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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