Rethinking GHC's approach to managing proposals

bgamari - 2016-07-09

Recently there has been a fair bit of discussion around the mechanisms by which proposed changes to GHC are evaluated. While we have something of a formal proposal protocol, it is not clearly documented, inconsistently applied, and may be failing to serve a significant fraction of GHC’s potential contributor pool.

Over the last few weeks, I have been doing a fair amount of reading, thinking, and discussing to try to piece together a proposal scheme which better serves our community.

The resulting proposal is strongly inspired by the RFC process in place in the Rust community, the leaders of which have thought quite hard about fostering community growth and participation. While no process is perfect, I feel like the Rust process is a good starting point for discussion, offering enough structure to guide new contributors through the process while requiring only a modest investment of developer time.

To get a sense for how well this will work in our community, I propose that we attempt to self-host the proposed process. To this end I have setup a ghc-proposals repository and opened a pull request for discussion of the process proposal.

Let’s see how this goes.