Core Library policies
This page describes a proposed process for maintaining the Core libraries.
Core libraries are particularly important, and as such we apply some (lightweight) policies to their development. In the past we used the Library_submissions process, but that was deemed to hamper productivity too much. The new policy puts more emphasis on leadership and empowers individual maintainers to make changes, while still allowing the community to make feedback, contributions, and proposals.
Non-core libraries are, of course, managed by their own authors/maintainers (named in their .cabal file), using whatever policies those maintainers see fit. [Note: arguably the policies below might usefully be applied to all libraries embodied in the Haskell Platform, but that is a question for the HP team.]
What are the Core Libraries?
The following packages form the core libraries. They are a subset of the packages in the Haskell Platform, and define basic APIs that are expected to be available in any Haskell implementation:
Policies for development, and community involvement
- Each core package has a named maintainer, or small group of maintainers, who have commit access to the package.
- The maintainers are trusted to decide what changes to make to the package, and when. They are strongly encouraged to follow the guidance below, but the general principle is: the community offers opinions, but the maintainers decide.
- Third parties are encouraged to make proposals for API changes by sending them to the maintainers (CC'ing the libraries mailing list). Proposals that are accompanied by patches (preferably with tests and documentation), and have widespread support, should normally be accepted by the maintainer.
- Third parties can submit non-API changes as patches directly to the maintainer (CC'ing the libraries mailing list).
- Commit logs will be sent to a public mailing list, or otherwise made easily available (e.g. via github), so that the community can keep an eye on changes and comment.
Guidance for maintainers:
- Every API change should be described precisely in the commit log.
- API changes should be discussed on the libraries mailing list prior to making the change. The maintainer still has ultimate say in what changes are made, but the community should have the opportunity to comment on changes.
- Typically, the maintainer would specify the change, explain why they advocate it, and give a deadline for comments. The maintainer is trusted to use his or her judgement in responding to comments and adapting the proposal where appropriate. However, unaminity (or even a majority) is not required.
- Backwards compatibility is important to many users. API changes are expected to retain backwards compatibility wherever possible. However, from time to time we may decide to have major revisions which are explicitly not backwards compatible; in these cases we may try to make the previous version of the package available concurrently, as in the base-3/base-4 switchover.
- Responsiveness. Third parties submitting proposals to the maintainer of a library can expect a timely and thoughtful response. The more effort the proposer invests (eg by constructing a patch rather than making an off-the-cuff suggestion) the more consideration s/he can reasonably expect.
Libraries maintained by the GHC team are subject to the GHC validation policy - patches will be tested for validation before committing. Those packages not maintained by the GHC team will probably have a GHC lagging mirror repository that is subject to validation.
The following packages are also listed as maintained by
firstname.lastname@example.org, but are not in fact maintained by the community as a whole. We plan to clarify the maintainership of these packages shortly.
These packages are not expected to undergo API changes in the future. The code will be maintained by the GHC team.
These packages match the appropriate language standard, and as such cannot change independently. The code is maintained by the GHC team.
These packages in fact have maintainers, in most cases the GHC team:
These packages are orphaned, and are looking for a maintainer: