Cutting the GHC 8.4 branch

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Cutting the GHC 8.4 branch

Ben Gamari-3
Hello everyone,

As described earlier in the fall, with the GHC 8.4 release we will be
trying to hold to a more reliable six-month release cycle. Towards this
end we will be generally try to cut major release branches three months
before the release date.

As GHC 8.4 is slated to be released in February 2018, we are quickly
approaching that three-month mark. Consequently I'd like to try cutting
a branch next week. There are a few things that need to happen in the
interim:

 * Hadrian needs to be merged (this should be done by the end of the day
   today)

 * Tamar's patches bumping our Windows toolchain need to be merged (they
   are in my merge queue)

 * A bunch of submodule bumps

The remainder of the Trees That Grow work may not be entirely merged by
the time we branch but Alan and I will arrange that things are merged
after the fact. If you have work that you would like to see merged,
please do let me know.

If things go according to plan, we will produce our first alpha release
shortly after the branch.

Cheers,

- Ben

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