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Library submissions

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As the Haskell community has grown, and emphasis on development has moved from language to libraries, the need for a more formalised process for contributing to libraries has emerged. This page documents our 'best practices' for proposing new library functions.

In essence, we don't want proposals to go unnoticed, but changes to basic interfaces also need thorough consideration.

Under the old ad hoc system, unless a proposal meets with a chorus of approval, the only way to get a decision is from SimonM or unilateral action by some committer. This slowed development.

1 Submitting a proposal

In order to ensure we have something concrete to discuss, please follow the following guidlines when creating a new proposal:

  • Proposed changes should be submitted to libraries@haskell.org, as a darcs patch
  • The patch must compile against the head
  • It must include valid Haddock documentation (you need Haddock 0.8)
  • Pure code should also come with QuickCheck properties, to apply against the testsuite. Impure code should have unit tests.
  • Code should be portable. If it is not portable, reasons should be given. Ensure the code runs in at least Hugs and GHC.

To document the change, please add a Trac ticket, and a timescale for consideration (to focus the community's attention):

  • The submission's trac ticket should be included in the mail sent to the libraries list.

2 Reaching consensus

  • At the end of the discussion period, the proposer adds to the ticket a summary of the relevant parts of the discussion, the ticket is archived and, if consensus was achieved, the change is made. (The summary is needed for anyone wondering about the change later: it's not reasonable to point people at a 50-message thread.)
  • A deeply held disagreement at the end of the discussion period may require some form of government (voting, dictatorship, etc). This should be a rare event.