Taking over a package

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There are situations where a certain package on Hackage is effectively unmaintained, or is simply in need of a minor update but the maintainer of the package is unavailable.

If you can contact the author/maintainer

The author/maintainer may simply be too busy to do the updates, but may be happy to delegate or to pass on ownership entirely.

Explain what you want to do, for example if you want to take over entirely, share ongoing maintenance responsibility, or do a one-off update without any ongoing responsibility.

Ask them to give you permission to upload new versions of the package. What needs to happen technically is for your hackage username to be added to the maintainer group for the package in question. They can do this in one of two ways:

  • The current maintainer can do it directly on the package maintainer group page on Hackage: https://hackage.haskell.org/package/<package>/maintainers/
    You will need to tell them your hackage username. They simply follow the "edit" link and add your username to the group.


  • The current maintainer can email the hackage administrators (hackage-admin@haskell.org), saying s/he wants you to take over the package, or at least wants you to be allowed to upload new versions.
    This is not the the hackage administrators' preferred option for obvious reasons, but may be your best bet if the current maintainer is exceedingly busy.

If you cannot contact the author/maintainer

This situation is more tricky because it involves overriding the normal rights of authors/maintainers.

The hackage administrators have a procedure for this situation which you can follow:

  1. Try to contact the maintainer. Give them reasonable time to respond.
  2. State your intention to take over the package in a public forum (we recommend the haskell-cafe and/or libraries list). CC the maintainer.
  3. Wait a while.
  4. Send an email to the hackage administrators (hackage-admin@haskell.org), with a link to the public email thread.
  5. The admins will grant you maintenance rights or upload a patched version for you.


  1. From time of announcement of intention to takeover to actual takeover, there will be a 2-6 week period where the admins give the maintainer a chance to respond, with the exact time in any case up to the discretion of the admins.
  2. If someone has their package taken over because they did not respond, then, for the following year, should they request it, the admins will unconditionally return it to them.