Hackage wiki page per project discussion
Purpose of this page ?
collect thoughts about whether we should provide a wiki page (and maybe even more advanced features such as bug trackers) for all projects hosted on hackage I'll post a link to this page to haskell-cafe so everyone should participate
Why a Wiki
We do have about 1500 packages on hackage. Hackage was made live easier. While packaging some packages for nix (using Hack-Nix) I had to write some patches.
If you have a patch what to do? Duncan Coutts proposed contacting the maintainer. If you don't receive replies within a time frame write to the haskell-cafe mailinglist. If you can't find him become the new maintainer.
While contacting the maintainer works very well within 3 days in most cases there are situations where maintainers reply they are on holidy ol got very busy lately.. In these cases I'd like to put my patch somewhere so that others can find it.
Typically a bug tracker is used for this.
hackage is the best index of all haskell packages we have So everyone will look on hackage first.
Even if the maintainer replies within 3 days it doesn't make sense to upload a new version of a package for each patch.
Having too many versions on hackage would blow up the index.tar.gz and maybe put much stress on tools like cabal install.
That's why I proposed to Duncan today that we could just create a new link to the wiki for each project below the link to the package contents (cabal file)
It would look like this:
- package maintainers have to look at the wiki as well (do they?)
However they can be notified automatically when a page changes
- everyone can upload examples how to use a package
- it's easier to provide important information such as:
"This package is superseded by XY because: ..."
- We already have a mechanism to deprecate packages or to mark them as superseded. --DuncanCoutts 00:25, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Or hints such as: If you're interested in this package also read about ...
Or: Have a look at the darcs repostory. It cantains many bug fixes which will b released soon.
- You don't have to create a web page for your (maybe small) project
- You can discuss features and the roadmap of projects easily.
- Maintainers can be maintainers while others can still put their ideas or experiences online.
- should maintainers have a chance to disable this link?
(Don't think so. Because this is the main feature that everybody can always put comments)
The main point about this wiki idea is that you can attach arbitrary information and you don't have to wait for anyone to do so. Get things done. Provide patches. Link them on the wiki. Come back later and discuss your proposals with the maintainer. Keep summaries of discussions on subjects accesible by everyone. ...
Of course I know that the maintainers are the people doing the real work. But look at it from a different view: Having such a forum for all projects by default also means that a maintainer can let others do some of the work knowing that they don't have to reply within some days.
The wiki can host all information which may be useful but which wasn't foreseen by hackage or cabal devs. We must keep agile and move forward only.
You may rewrite this arcticle from scratch. Just add your thoughts and ideas and how you like this idea.
My (DuncanCoutts) concern is about the consent from package authors. Hackage is a social bargain. We ask package authors to distribute their work through hackage because it provides benefits to the community. If we impose too much on package authors then they may decide it's just not worth it.
In particular, if we automatically create a wiki page for every package then we are imposing additional obligations on package authors. As a package author I might be concerned that this wiki page duplicates an existing home page or bug tracking system. If there's a wiki page about my project then I am effectively obligated to check it from time to time, since users will inevitably report bugs etc there. It is that extra obligation that package authors may resent.
There is no problem with such a feature being opt-in, but whether it is something we require and impose on package authors needs much more of a social consensus before we go ahead.