Next steps for the Haskell Platform

Wednesday, 06 May 2009, by Duncan Coutts.
Filed under community, haskell-platform.

Don just announced the first release of the Haskell Platform.

The intention of this first major release series is to get up to speed and test out our systems for making releases. We want to have everything working smoothly in time for GHC 6.12, when we hope to take over from the GHC team the task of making end-user releases.

We would like to thank the people who have worked on the release. Mikhail Glushenkov and Gregory Collins have put a lot of effort into the Windows and OSX installers. (We hope the OSX installer will be available in time for the next minor release.) We also received a lot of helpful feedback on the release candidates and the general release process from Claus Reinke, Sven Panne and Bulat Ziganshin. Many other people tested out release candidates on a range of systems. Thanks to everyone for all that.

Schedule

There will be follow-up minor releases 4 weeks and 10 weeks after this initial release. These will incorporate feedback on the installers and packaging. Your comments and feedback will be appreciated.

Upcoming policy decisions

We have said that major releases will be on a 6 month schedule. Major releases may include new and updated packages, while minor releases will contain bug fixes and fixes for packaging problems.

There are many policy details that we have to sort out however. For example, how do we decide which packages to add to new releases? What quality standards should we demand?

Importantly, these policy decisions are not ones that Don and I want to make ourselves, and indeed we should not be the ones to make them. These are questions for the community to decide. The plan is to discuss them on the libraries mailing list in the coming weeks and months. However, to make sure that necessary decisions do actually get made I'm going to propose a steering committee. The members would have the task of talking to the release team, thinking about what needs to be decided and guiding discussions on the mailing list. They would also have to make sure policy decisions are recorded in the wiki and are communicated to the release team.

So, if you are interested in the direction and success of the platform then now is a good time to get involved. Keep an eye out for the discussions on the libraries mailing list. If you want to do some hacking then we still need more help to organise and automate our release processes.