GHC 7.8 release?

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GHC 7.8 release?

Simon Peyton Jones

Dear GHC users, 

                                                                                                                  

Carter: Will this RTS update make it into ghc 7.8 update thats coming up in the next monthish?

Andreas: We are almost there - we are now trying to sort out a problem on mac os x. It would be helpful to know if there is a cutoff date for getting things into 7.8. 

 

Simon, Ian, and I have just been discussing 7.8, and would be interested in what you guys think. 


At ICFP we speculated that we’d make a release of GHC soon after Christmas to embody tons of stuff that has been included since 7.6, specifically:

·         major improvements in DPH (vectorisation avoidance, new vectoriser)

·         type holes

·         rebindable list syntax

·         major changes to the type inference engine

·         type level natural numbers

·         overlapping type families

·         the new code generator

·         support for vector (SSE/AVX) instructions

 

Whenever it comes it would definitely be great to include Andreas & friends’ work:

·         Scheduler changes to the RTS to improve latency

 

The original major reason for proposing a post-Xmas release was to get DPH in a working state out into the wild.  However, making a proper release imposes costs on everyone else.  Library authors have to scurry around to make their libraries work, etc.   Some of the new stuff hasn’t been in HEAD for that long, and hence has not been very thoroughly tested.   (But of course making a release unleashes a huge wave of testing that doesn’t happen otherwise.)

 

So another alternative is to leave it all as HEAD, and wait another few months before making a release.  You can still use all the new stuff by compiling HEAD, or grabbing a snapshot distribution.  And it makes it hard for the Haskell platform if GHC moves too fast. Many people are still on 7.4.

 

There seem to be pros and cons each way.  I don’t have a strong opinion.  If you have a view, let us know.

 

Simon

 


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Re: GHC 7.8 release?

José Pedro Magalhães
For the record, if we decide for a release soon, I'll make sure the new-typeable branch gets merged asap.


Cheers,
Pedro

On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 8:25 AM, Simon Peyton-Jones <[hidden email]> wrote:

Dear GHC users, 

                                                                                                                  

Carter: Will this RTS update make it into ghc 7.8 update thats coming up in the next monthish?

Andreas: We are almost there - we are now trying to sort out a problem on mac os x. It would be helpful to know if there is a cutoff date for getting things into 7.8. 

 

Simon, Ian, and I have just been discussing 7.8, and would be interested in what you guys think. 


At ICFP we speculated that we’d make a release of GHC soon after Christmas to embody tons of stuff that has been included since 7.6, specifically:

·         major improvements in DPH (vectorisation avoidance, new vectoriser)

·         type holes

·         rebindable list syntax

·         major changes to the type inference engine

·         type level natural numbers

·         overlapping type families

·         the new code generator

·         support for vector (SSE/AVX) instructions

 

Whenever it comes it would definitely be great to include Andreas & friends’ work:

·         Scheduler changes to the RTS to improve latency

 

The original major reason for proposing a post-Xmas release was to get DPH in a working state out into the wild.  However, making a proper release imposes costs on everyone else.  Library authors have to scurry around to make their libraries work, etc.   Some of the new stuff hasn’t been in HEAD for that long, and hence has not been very thoroughly tested.   (But of course making a release unleashes a huge wave of testing that doesn’t happen otherwise.)

 

So another alternative is to leave it all as HEAD, and wait another few months before making a release.  You can still use all the new stuff by compiling HEAD, or grabbing a snapshot distribution.  And it makes it hard for the Haskell platform if GHC moves too fast. Many people are still on 7.4.

 

There seem to be pros and cons each way.  I don’t have a strong opinion.  If you have a view, let us know.

 

Simon

 

--
 
 


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Re: GHC 7.8 release?

Geoffrey Mainland
In reply to this post by Simon Peyton Jones
In practice the versions of GHC that are widely used are those that are
included in the platform. Maybe we should coordinate with their next
release? They are targeting a May 6 release, and the release process is
starting March 4, so it sounds like the original GHC release plan
(February release) would be a good fit for the platform as it would
allow library writers to catch up and ensure that STABLE was tested
enough for inclusion in the platform. It would be a shame to miss the
platform release.

Geoff

On 02/07/2013 08:25 AM, Simon Peyton-Jones wrote:

> Dear GHC users,
>
> *                                                                                                                  
> *
>
> *Carter*: Will this RTS update make it into ghc 7.8 update thats coming
> up in the next monthish?
>
> *Andreas*: We are almost there - we are now trying to sort out a problem
> on mac os x. It would be helpful to know if there is a cutoff date for
> getting things into 7.8.
>
>  
>
> Simon, Ian, and I have just been discussing 7.8, and would be interested
> in what you guys think.
>
>
> At ICFP we speculated that we’d make a release of GHC soon after
> Christmas to embody tons of stuff that has been included since 7.6,
> specifically:
>
> ·         major improvements in DPH (vectorisation avoidance, new
> vectoriser)
>
> ·         type holes
>
> ·         rebindable list syntax
>
> ·         major changes to the type inference engine
>
> ·         type level natural numbers
>
> ·         overlapping type families
>
> ·         the new code generator
>
> ·         support for vector (SSE/AVX) instructions
>
>  
>
> Whenever it comes it would definitely be great to include Andreas &
> friends’ work:
>
> ·         Scheduler changes to the RTS to improve latency
>
>  
>
> The original major reason for proposing a post-Xmas release was to get
> DPH in a working state out into the wild.  However, making a proper
> release imposes costs on everyone else.  Library authors have to scurry
> around to make their libraries work, etc.   Some of the new stuff hasn’t
> been in HEAD for that long, and hence has not been very thoroughly
> tested.   (But of course making a release unleashes a huge wave of
> testing that doesn’t happen otherwise.)
>
>  
>
> So another alternative is to leave it all as HEAD, and wait another few
> months before making a release.  You can still use all the new stuff by
> compiling HEAD, or grabbing a snapshot distribution.  And it makes it
> hard for the Haskell platform if GHC moves too fast. Many people are
> still on 7.4.
>
>  
>
> There seem to be pros and cons each way.  I don’t have a strong
> opinion.  If you have a view, let us know.
>
>  
>
> Simon



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Re: GHC 7.8 release?

Roman Cheplyaka-2
In reply to this post by Simon Peyton Jones
* Simon Peyton-Jones <[hidden email]> [2013-02-07 08:25:10+0000]
> So another alternative is to leave it all as HEAD, and wait another
> few months before making a release.  You can still use all the new
> stuff by compiling HEAD, or grabbing a snapshot distribution.  And it
> makes it hard for the Haskell platform if GHC moves too fast. Many
> people are still on 7.4.

Maybe make a release candidate, as was done with 7.6.2?

Roman

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Re: GHC 7.8 release?

Richard Eisenberg-2
In reply to this post by Geoffrey Mainland
Geoff's reasoning seems quite sound.
+1 for February release.

On Feb 7, 2013, at 3:50 AM, Geoffrey Mainland <[hidden email]> wrote:

> In practice the versions of GHC that are widely used are those that are
> included in the platform. Maybe we should coordinate with their next
> release? They are targeting a May 6 release, and the release process is
> starting March 4, so it sounds like the original GHC release plan
> (February release) would be a good fit for the platform as it would
> allow library writers to catch up and ensure that STABLE was tested
> enough for inclusion in the platform. It would be a shame to miss the
> platform release.
>
> Geoff
>
> On 02/07/2013 08:25 AM, Simon Peyton-Jones wrote:
>> Dear GHC users,
>>
>> *                                                                                                                  
>> *
>>
>> *Carter*: Will this RTS update make it into ghc 7.8 update thats coming
>> up in the next monthish?
>>
>> *Andreas*: We are almost there - we are now trying to sort out a problem
>> on mac os x. It would be helpful to know if there is a cutoff date for
>> getting things into 7.8.
>>
>>
>>
>> Simon, Ian, and I have just been discussing 7.8, and would be interested
>> in what you guys think.
>>
>>
>> At ICFP we speculated that we’d make a release of GHC soon after
>> Christmas to embody tons of stuff that has been included since 7.6,
>> specifically:
>>
>> ·         major improvements in DPH (vectorisation avoidance, new
>> vectoriser)
>>
>> ·         type holes
>>
>> ·         rebindable list syntax
>>
>> ·         major changes to the type inference engine
>>
>> ·         type level natural numbers
>>
>> ·         overlapping type families
>>
>> ·         the new code generator
>>
>> ·         support for vector (SSE/AVX) instructions
>>
>>
>>
>> Whenever it comes it would definitely be great to include Andreas &
>> friends’ work:
>>
>> ·         Scheduler changes to the RTS to improve latency
>>
>>
>>
>> The original major reason for proposing a post-Xmas release was to get
>> DPH in a working state out into the wild.  However, making a proper
>> release imposes costs on everyone else.  Library authors have to scurry
>> around to make their libraries work, etc.   Some of the new stuff hasn’t
>> been in HEAD for that long, and hence has not been very thoroughly
>> tested.   (But of course making a release unleashes a huge wave of
>> testing that doesn’t happen otherwise.)
>>
>>
>>
>> So another alternative is to leave it all as HEAD, and wait another few
>> months before making a release.  You can still use all the new stuff by
>> compiling HEAD, or grabbing a snapshot distribution.  And it makes it
>> hard for the Haskell platform if GHC moves too fast. Many people are
>> still on 7.4.
>>
>>
>>
>> There seem to be pros and cons each way.  I don’t have a strong
>> opinion.  If you have a view, let us know.
>>
>>
>>
>> Simon
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Glasgow-haskell-users mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/glasgow-haskell-users
>


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Re: GHC 7.8 release?

Ian Lynagh-2

I'm not too optimistic we could actually get the final release out
during February, assuming we want to allow a couple of weeks for people
to test an RC.

Does the Haskell Platform actually want to commit to using a GHC release
with "tons of [new] stuff", that has had little testing, days or weeks
after its release? I thought the idea was that it would favour
known-good releases over the latest-and-greatest, but perhaps I
misunderstood or the philosophy has changed.


Thanks
Ian

On Thu, Feb 07, 2013 at 09:00:37AM -0500, Richard Eisenberg wrote:

> Geoff's reasoning seems quite sound.
> +1 for February release.
>
> On Feb 7, 2013, at 3:50 AM, Geoffrey Mainland <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > In practice the versions of GHC that are widely used are those that are
> > included in the platform. Maybe we should coordinate with their next
> > release? They are targeting a May 6 release, and the release process is
> > starting March 4, so it sounds like the original GHC release plan
> > (February release) would be a good fit for the platform as it would
> > allow library writers to catch up and ensure that STABLE was tested
> > enough for inclusion in the platform. It would be a shame to miss the
> > platform release.
> >
> > Geoff
> >
> > On 02/07/2013 08:25 AM, Simon Peyton-Jones wrote:
> >> Dear GHC users,
> >>
> >> *                                                                                                                  
> >> *
> >>
> >> *Carter*: Will this RTS update make it into ghc 7.8 update thats coming
> >> up in the next monthish?
> >>
> >> *Andreas*: We are almost there - we are now trying to sort out a problem
> >> on mac os x. It would be helpful to know if there is a cutoff date for
> >> getting things into 7.8.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Simon, Ian, and I have just been discussing 7.8, and would be interested
> >> in what you guys think.
> >>
> >>
> >> At ICFP we speculated that we’d make a release of GHC soon after
> >> Christmas to embody tons of stuff that has been included since 7.6,
> >> specifically:
> >>
> >> ·         major improvements in DPH (vectorisation avoidance, new
> >> vectoriser)
> >>
> >> ·         type holes
> >>
> >> ·         rebindable list syntax
> >>
> >> ·         major changes to the type inference engine
> >>
> >> ·         type level natural numbers
> >>
> >> ·         overlapping type families
> >>
> >> ·         the new code generator
> >>
> >> ·         support for vector (SSE/AVX) instructions
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Whenever it comes it would definitely be great to include Andreas &
> >> friends’ work:
> >>
> >> ·         Scheduler changes to the RTS to improve latency
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> The original major reason for proposing a post-Xmas release was to get
> >> DPH in a working state out into the wild.  However, making a proper
> >> release imposes costs on everyone else.  Library authors have to scurry
> >> around to make their libraries work, etc.   Some of the new stuff hasn’t
> >> been in HEAD for that long, and hence has not been very thoroughly
> >> tested.   (But of course making a release unleashes a huge wave of
> >> testing that doesn’t happen otherwise.)
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> So another alternative is to leave it all as HEAD, and wait another few
> >> months before making a release.  You can still use all the new stuff by
> >> compiling HEAD, or grabbing a snapshot distribution.  And it makes it
> >> hard for the Haskell platform if GHC moves too fast. Many people are
> >> still on 7.4.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> There seem to be pros and cons each way.  I don’t have a strong
> >> opinion.  If you have a view, let us know.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Simon

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RE: GHC 7.8 release?

p.k.f.holzenspies@utwente.nl
In reply to this post by Richard Eisenberg-2
+1

Ph.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email] [mailto:glasgow-haskell-
> [hidden email]] On Behalf Of Richard Eisenberg
> Sent: donderdag 7 februari 2013 15:01
> To: Geoffrey Mainland
> Cc: [hidden email]; [hidden email];
> [hidden email]
> Subject: Re: GHC 7.8 release?
>
> Geoff's reasoning seems quite sound.
> +1 for February release.
>
> On Feb 7, 2013, at 3:50 AM, Geoffrey Mainland <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > In practice the versions of GHC that are widely used are those that are
> > included in the platform. Maybe we should coordinate with their next
> > release? They are targeting a May 6 release, and the release process is
> > starting March 4, so it sounds like the original GHC release plan
> > (February release) would be a good fit for the platform as it would
> > allow library writers to catch up and ensure that STABLE was tested
> > enough for inclusion in the platform. It would be a shame to miss the
> > platform release.
> >
> > Geoff
> >
> > On 02/07/2013 08:25 AM, Simon Peyton-Jones wrote:
> >> Dear GHC users,
> >>
> >> *
> >> *
> >>
> >> *Carter*: Will this RTS update make it into ghc 7.8 update thats coming
> >> up in the next monthish?
> >>
> >> *Andreas*: We are almost there - we are now trying to sort out a
> problem
> >> on mac os x. It would be helpful to know if there is a cutoff date for
> >> getting things into 7.8.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Simon, Ian, and I have just been discussing 7.8, and would be interested
> >> in what you guys think.
> >>
> >>
> >> At ICFP we speculated that we'd make a release of GHC soon after
> >> Christmas to embody tons of stuff that has been included since 7.6,
> >> specifically:
> >>
> >> *         major improvements in DPH (vectorisation avoidance, new
> >> vectoriser)
> >>
> >> *         type holes
> >>
> >> *         rebindable list syntax
> >>
> >> *         major changes to the type inference engine
> >>
> >> *         type level natural numbers
> >>
> >> *         overlapping type families
> >>
> >> *         the new code generator
> >>
> >> *         support for vector (SSE/AVX) instructions
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Whenever it comes it would definitely be great to include Andreas &
> >> friends' work:
> >>
> >> *         Scheduler changes to the RTS to improve latency
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> The original major reason for proposing a post-Xmas release was to get
> >> DPH in a working state out into the wild.  However, making a proper
> >> release imposes costs on everyone else.  Library authors have to scurry
> >> around to make their libraries work, etc.   Some of the new stuff hasn't
> >> been in HEAD for that long, and hence has not been very thoroughly
> >> tested.   (But of course making a release unleashes a huge wave of
> >> testing that doesn't happen otherwise.)
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> So another alternative is to leave it all as HEAD, and wait another few
> >> months before making a release.  You can still use all the new stuff by
> >> compiling HEAD, or grabbing a snapshot distribution.  And it makes it
> >> hard for the Haskell platform if GHC moves too fast. Many people are
> >> still on 7.4.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> There seem to be pros and cons each way.  I don't have a strong
> >> opinion.  If you have a view, let us know.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Simon
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Glasgow-haskell-users mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/glasgow-haskell-users
> >
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Glasgow-haskell-users mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/glasgow-haskell-users

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Re: GHC 7.8 release?

John Lato-2
In reply to this post by Ian Lynagh-2
I agree with Ian.  Mid-February is very soon, and there's a lot of stuff that seems to just be coming in now.  That doesn't leave much time for testing to get 7.8 out in sync with the platform.

Although my perspective is a bit colored by the last release.  Testing the 7.6.1 RC took several weeks for us because of the number of upstream packages that needed to be updated (not all trivially).  By the time we were prepared to begin testing our own systems 7.6.1 was already released, and we couldn't use it because of a number of bugs (http://hackage.haskell.org/trac/ghc/ticket/7257 was a blocker, but there were others also).  Most of the bugs were fixed very quickly (thanks Simon M. and Simon PJ!), but by then they were already in the wild.  If there had been a bit more time to test 7.6.1, maybe some of those fixes would have made it into the release.


John L.


On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 10:23 PM, Ian Lynagh <[hidden email]> wrote:

I'm not too optimistic we could actually get the final release out
during February, assuming we want to allow a couple of weeks for people
to test an RC.

Does the Haskell Platform actually want to commit to using a GHC release
with "tons of [new] stuff", that has had little testing, days or weeks
after its release? I thought the idea was that it would favour
known-good releases over the latest-and-greatest, but perhaps I
misunderstood or the philosophy has changed.


Thanks
Ian

On Thu, Feb 07, 2013 at 09:00:37AM -0500, Richard Eisenberg wrote:
> Geoff's reasoning seems quite sound.
> +1 for February release.
>
> On Feb 7, 2013, at 3:50 AM, Geoffrey Mainland <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > In practice the versions of GHC that are widely used are those that are
> > included in the platform. Maybe we should coordinate with their next
> > release? They are targeting a May 6 release, and the release process is
> > starting March 4, so it sounds like the original GHC release plan
> > (February release) would be a good fit for the platform as it would
> > allow library writers to catch up and ensure that STABLE was tested
> > enough for inclusion in the platform. It would be a shame to miss the
> > platform release.
> >
> > Geoff
> >
> > On 02/07/2013 08:25 AM, Simon Peyton-Jones wrote:
> >> Dear GHC users,
> >>
> >> *
> >> *
> >>
> >> *Carter*: Will this RTS update make it into ghc 7.8 update thats coming
> >> up in the next monthish?
> >>
> >> *Andreas*: We are almost there - we are now trying to sort out a problem
> >> on mac os x. It would be helpful to know if there is a cutoff date for
> >> getting things into 7.8.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Simon, Ian, and I have just been discussing 7.8, and would be interested
> >> in what you guys think.
> >>
> >>
> >> At ICFP we speculated that we’d make a release of GHC soon after
> >> Christmas to embody tons of stuff that has been included since 7.6,
> >> specifically:
> >>
> >> ·         major improvements in DPH (vectorisation avoidance, new
> >> vectoriser)
> >>
> >> ·         type holes
> >>
> >> ·         rebindable list syntax
> >>
> >> ·         major changes to the type inference engine
> >>
> >> ·         type level natural numbers
> >>
> >> ·         overlapping type families
> >>
> >> ·         the new code generator
> >>
> >> ·         support for vector (SSE/AVX) instructions
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Whenever it comes it would definitely be great to include Andreas &
> >> friends’ work:
> >>
> >> ·         Scheduler changes to the RTS to improve latency
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> The original major reason for proposing a post-Xmas release was to get
> >> DPH in a working state out into the wild.  However, making a proper
> >> release imposes costs on everyone else.  Library authors have to scurry
> >> around to make their libraries work, etc.   Some of the new stuff hasn’t
> >> been in HEAD for that long, and hence has not been very thoroughly
> >> tested.   (But of course making a release unleashes a huge wave of
> >> testing that doesn’t happen otherwise.)
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> So another alternative is to leave it all as HEAD, and wait another few
> >> months before making a release.  You can still use all the new stuff by
> >> compiling HEAD, or grabbing a snapshot distribution.  And it makes it
> >> hard for the Haskell platform if GHC moves too fast. Many people are
> >> still on 7.4.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> There seem to be pros and cons each way.  I don’t have a strong
> >> opinion.  If you have a view, let us know.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Simon

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Re: GHC 7.8 release?

Henrik Nilsson-2
In reply to this post by Ian Lynagh-2
Hi all,

Ian Lynagh wrote:

 > Does the Haskell Platform actually want to commit to using a GHC
 > release with "tons of [new] stuff", that has had little testing, days
 > or weeks after its release? I thought the idea was that it would
 > favour known-good releases over the latest-and-greatest, but perhaps I
 > misunderstood or the philosophy has changed.

 From a teaching perspective, I'd hope the philosophy is still
"known-good releases".

The Haskell platform is what we deploy on our teaching machines,
and we really need to be able to trust that it will work very
smoothly, or we'd risk losing lots of valuable teaching time and,
even worse, putting lots of students off Haskell. (Getting students
to appreciate Haskell is an upwards struggle at the best of times
anyway.)

Something like new run-time system features sounds like something
that really ought to be tested very thoroughly before being integrated
into the HP.

So, for (general) teaching, at least, stability over new features any
day.

Best,

/Henrik

--
Henrik Nilsson
School of Computer Science
The University of Nottingham
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RE: GHC 7.8 release?

Simon Peyton Jones
In reply to this post by Simon Peyton Jones

It’s fairly simple in my mind. There are two “channels” (if I understand Mark’s terminology right):

 

·         Haskell Platform:

o   A stable development environment, lots of libraries known to work

o   Newcomers, and people who value stability, should use the Haskell Platform

o   HP comes with a particular version of GHC, probably not the hottest new one, but that doesn’t matter.  It works.

 

·         GHC home page downloads:

o   More features but not so stable

o   Libraries not guaranteed to work

o   Worth releasing, though, as a forcing function to fix bugs, and as a checkpoint for people to test, so that by the time the HP adopts a particular version it is reasonably solid.

 

So we already have the two channels Mark asks for, don’t we?  One is called the Haskell Platform and one is called the GHC home page. 


That leaves a PR issue: we really don’t want newcomers or Joe Users wanting the “new shiny”. They want the Haskell Platform, and as Mark says those users should not pay the slightest attention until it appears in the Haskell Platform.

 

So perhaps we principally need a way to point people away from GHC and towards HP?  eg We could prominently say at every download point “Stop!  Are you sure you want this?  You might be better off with the Haskell Platform!  Here’s why...”.

 

Have I understood aright?  If so, how could we achieve the right social dynamics? 

 

Our goal is to let people who value stability get stability, while the hot-shots race along in a different channel and pay the price of flat tires etc.

 

PS: absolutely right to use 7.6.2 for the next HP.  Don’t even think about 7.8.

 

Simon

 

 

 

From: Mark Lentczner [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: 07 February 2013 17:43
To: Simon Peyton-Jones
Cc: [hidden email]; Carter Schonwald; GHC users; Simon Marlow; parallel-haskell; [hidden email]; Edsko de Vries; [hidden email]
Subject: Re: GHC 7.8 release?

 

I'd say the window for 7.8 in the platform is about closed. If 7.8 were to be release in the next two weeks that would be just about the least amount of time I'd want to see for libraries in the platform to get all stable with the GHC version. And we'd also be counting on the GHC team to be quickly responding to bugs so that there could be a point release of 7.8 mid-April. Historically, none of that seems likely.

 

So my current trajectory is to base HP 2013.2.0.0 on GHC 7.6.2.

 

Since 7.8 will seems like it will be released before May, we will be faced again with the bad public relations issue: Everyone will want the new shiny and be confused as to why the platform is such a laggard. We'll see four reactions:

  • New comers who are starting out and figure they should use the latest... Many will try to use 7.8, half the libraries on hackage won't work, things will be wonky, and they'll have a poor experience.
  • People doing production / project work will stay on 7.6 and ignore 7.8 for a few months.
  • The small group of people exploring the frontiers will know how to get things set up and be happy.
  • Eventually library authors will get around to making sure their stuff will work with it.

I wish GHC would radically change it's release process. Things like 7.8 shouldn't be release as "7.8". That sounds major and stable. The web site will have 7.8 at the top. The warning to use the platform will fall flat because it makes the platform look out of date. Really, "7.8" should be in a different release channel, not on the front page. It should bake in that channel for six months - where only the third group of people will use it, until it is getting close to merge into main, at which point the fourth group will start to use it, so that the day it hits main, all the libraries just work. Ideally, the first two groups of people will not pay the slightest attention to it until it is further baked.

 

While we achievements of the GHC team are great, less than half of those 7.8 features seem interesting from the viewpoint of the aims of the platform. I don't think adding syntactic or type-level features are really all that important for Haskell at this juncture. And while I do like to see improvements in generated code and run-time performance, I think even those are less important than making crucial ecosystem improvements to things like package management, cross-compilation, and libraries.

 

- Mark


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Re: GHC 7.8 release?

Christian Höner zu Siederdissen-2
Hi Simon,

The download page already has a big "Stop" there.
http://www.haskell.org/ghc/download_ghc_7_6_2

Apart from that, I am /really/ looking forward to sse/avx extensions and
the official new-code-gen to further narrow the gap between
high-performance C and high-performance Haskell.

That being said, I would be fine using HEAD, but a release is very
convenient in terms of installing, even if they are in the form of "rc"
(which I typically install to see if something breaks or is faster).

Maybe you want to consider providing a couple of release candidates
instead of 7.8 now?

Gruss,
Christian

* Simon Peyton Jones <[hidden email]> [07.02.2013 19:25]:

>    It's fairly simple in my mind. There are two "channels" (if I understand
>    Mark's terminology right):
>
>    
>
>    .         Haskell Platform:
>
>    o   A stable development environment, lots of libraries known to work
>
>    o   Newcomers, and people who value stability, should use the Haskell
>    Platform
>
>    o   HP comes with a particular version of GHC, probably not the hottest
>    new one, but that doesn't matter.  It works.
>
>    
>
>    .         GHC home page downloads:
>
>    o   More features but not so stable
>
>    o   Libraries not guaranteed to work
>
>    o   Worth releasing, though, as a forcing function to fix bugs, and as a
>    checkpoint for people to test, so that by the time the HP adopts a
>    particular version it is reasonably solid.
>
>    
>
>    So we already have the two channels Mark asks for, don't we?  One is
>    called the Haskell Platform and one is called the GHC home page.
>
>    That leaves a PR issue: we really don't want newcomers or Joe Users
>    wanting the "new shiny". They want the Haskell Platform, and as Mark says
>    those users should not pay the slightest attention until it appears in the
>    Haskell Platform.
>
>    
>
>    So perhaps we principally need a way to point people away from GHC and
>    towards HP?  eg We could prominently say at every download point "Stop!
>    Are you sure you want this?  You might be better off with the Haskell
>    Platform!  Here's why...".
>
>    
>
>    Have I understood aright?  If so, how could we achieve the right social
>    dynamics?
>
>    
>
>    Our goal is to let people who value stability get stability, while the
>    hot-shots race along in a different channel and pay the price of flat
>    tires etc.
>
>    
>
>    PS: absolutely right to use 7.6.2 for the next HP.  Don't even think about
>    7.8.
>
>    
>
>    Simon
>
>    
>
>    
>
>    
>
>    From: Mark Lentczner [mailto:[hidden email]]
>    Sent: 07 February 2013 17:43
>    To: Simon Peyton-Jones
>    Cc: [hidden email]; Carter Schonwald; GHC users; Simon Marlow;
>    parallel-haskell; [hidden email]; Edsko de Vries; [hidden email]
>    Subject: Re: GHC 7.8 release?
>
>    
>
>    I'd say the window for 7.8 in the platform is about closed. If 7.8 were to
>    be release in the next two weeks that would be just about the least amount
>    of time I'd want to see for libraries in the platform to get all stable
>    with the GHC version. And we'd also be counting on the GHC team to be
>    quickly responding to bugs so that there could be a point release of 7.8
>    mid-April. Historically, none of that seems likely.
>
>    
>
>    So my current trajectory is to base HP 2013.2.0.0 on GHC 7.6.2.
>
>    
>
>    Since 7.8 will seems like it will be released before May, we will be faced
>    again with the bad public relations issue: Everyone will want the new
>    shiny and be confused as to why the platform is such a laggard. We'll see
>    four reactions:
>
>      o New comers who are starting out and figure they should use the
>        latest... Many will try to use 7.8, half the libraries on hackage
>        won't work, things will be wonky, and they'll have a poor experience.
>      o People doing production / project work will stay on 7.6 and ignore 7.8
>        for a few months.
>      o The small group of people exploring the frontiers will know how to get
>        things set up and be happy.
>      o Eventually library authors will get around to making sure their stuff
>        will work with it.
>
>    I wish GHC would radically change it's release process. Things like 7.8
>    shouldn't be release as "7.8". That sounds major and stable. The web site
>    will have 7.8 at the top. The warning to use the platform will fall flat
>    because it makes the platform look out of date. Really, "7.8" should be in
>    a different release channel, not on the front page. It should bake in that
>    channel for six months - where only the third group of people will use it,
>    until it is getting close to merge into main, at which point the fourth
>    group will start to use it, so that the day it hits main, all the
>    libraries just work. Ideally, the first two groups of people will not pay
>    the slightest attention to it until it is further baked.
>
>    
>
>    While we achievements of the GHC team are great, less than half of those
>    7.8 features seem interesting from the viewpoint of the aims of
>    the platform. I don't think adding syntactic or type-level features are
>    really all that important for Haskell at this juncture. And while I do
>    like to see improvements in generated code and run-time performance, I
>    think even those are less important than making crucial ecosystem
>    improvements to things like package management, cross-compilation, and
>    libraries.
>
>    
>
>    - Mark

> _______________________________________________
> Glasgow-haskell-users mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/glasgow-haskell-users


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Re: GHC 7.8 release?

Austin Seipp
In reply to this post by Simon Peyton Jones
This is a slight tangent but, I am always somewhat confused about the
release schedule. When reading this, the basic decision seems to come
down to when do we cut a release, taking into account factors like
reliability/bugs/support/community/other stuff like that.

So, IMO, perhaps one thing that's needed is a more formalized release
schedule, with something like a merge window for 'big changes'? For
example, many projects like LLVM and GCC have fairly fixed release
windows, with an accompanying merge window several months before an
official release. (The Linux kernel does this too, but they have a
much shorter cycle.) If a large feature misses the merge window, it
must go into the next release.

Personally, I am not too worried about necessarily getting every new
feature into a release, even if they're awesome (and they all are!)
And while giving HP users the latest and greatest is great, they want
stability more than anything, in my opinion. So I think they're fine
with that too. What I am worried about is there being a good length of
time where the features integrated have time to bake and see some
polish, without a lot of interference.

There are a lot of issues with this including how to deal with work
that goes on in the mean time, etc. GHC also has far less manpower and
a much different ratio of developer influence and 'spread' than any of
the above projects. And we have to define what qualifies as 'big
change.' But if the issue seems to be one of time, synchronization,
and quality, perhaps we should think about whether or not a change
like a more formalized schedule could help.

I think making releases so people can find bugs is important. But that
will always happen anyway, so I'd rather be a little cautious and wait
this one out, than try to cram it. The new vectoriser only came in
within the past ~48 hours, and SIMD was just pushed in the past week
(and DPH will need SIMD support merged, too!) I think Feburary or even
March is way, way too early for a solid release, and it's certainly
too late for the HP anyway. I see little pain in postponement,
personally.

On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 2:25 AM, Simon Peyton-Jones
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Dear GHC users,
>
>
>
> Carter: Will this RTS update make it into ghc 7.8 update thats coming up in
> the next monthish?
>
> Andreas: We are almost there - we are now trying to sort out a problem on
> mac os x. It would be helpful to know if there is a cutoff date for getting
> things into 7.8.
>
>
>
> Simon, Ian, and I have just been discussing 7.8, and would be interested in
> what you guys think.
>
>
> At ICFP we speculated that we’d make a release of GHC soon after Christmas
> to embody tons of stuff that has been included since 7.6, specifically:
>
> ·         major improvements in DPH (vectorisation avoidance, new
> vectoriser)
>
> ·         type holes
>
> ·         rebindable list syntax
>
> ·         major changes to the type inference engine
>
> ·         type level natural numbers
>
> ·         overlapping type families
>
> ·         the new code generator
>
> ·         support for vector (SSE/AVX) instructions
>
>
>
> Whenever it comes it would definitely be great to include Andreas & friends’
> work:
>
> ·         Scheduler changes to the RTS to improve latency
>
>
>
> The original major reason for proposing a post-Xmas release was to get DPH
> in a working state out into the wild.  However, making a proper release
> imposes costs on everyone else.  Library authors have to scurry around to
> make their libraries work, etc.   Some of the new stuff hasn’t been in HEAD
> for that long, and hence has not been very thoroughly tested.   (But of
> course making a release unleashes a huge wave of testing that doesn’t happen
> otherwise.)
>
>
>
> So another alternative is to leave it all as HEAD, and wait another few
> months before making a release.  You can still use all the new stuff by
> compiling HEAD, or grabbing a snapshot distribution.  And it makes it hard
> for the Haskell platform if GHC moves too fast. Many people are still on
> 7.4.
>
>
>
> There seem to be pros and cons each way.  I don’t have a strong opinion.  If
> you have a view, let us know.
>
>
>
> Simon
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> ghc-devs mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/ghc-devs
>



--
Regards,
Austin

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Re: GHC 7.8 release?

Ben Lippmeier-2
In reply to this post by Simon Peyton Jones
<base href="x-msg://233/">
On 08/02/2013, at 5:15 AM, Simon Peyton-Jones wrote:

So perhaps we principally need a way to point people away from GHC and towards HP?  eg We could prominently say at every download point “Stop!  Are you sure you want this?  You might be better off with the Haskell Platform!  Here’s why...”.

Right now, the latest packages uploaded to Hackage get built with ghc-7.6 (only), and all the pages say "Built on ghc-7.6". By doing this we force *all* library developers to run GHC 7.6. I think this sends the clearest message about what the "real" GHC version is. 

We'd have more chance of turning Joe User off the latest GHC release if Hackage was clearly split into stable/testing channels. Linux distros have been doing this for years.

Ben.


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Re: GHC 7.8 release?

Johan Tibell-2
On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 6:48 PM, Ben Lippmeier <[hidden email]> wrote:
Right now, the latest packages uploaded to Hackage get built with ghc-7.6 (only), and all the pages say "Built on ghc-7.6". By doing this we force *all* library developers to run GHC 7.6. I think this sends the clearest message about what the "real" GHC version is. 

I don't know how closely users look at the "built on" line on the package page. Perhaps they look there, perhaps they don't.

Between Bryan and me we build all of our own packages and all HP packages on the latest 3 GHC versions:


That doesn't mean that it would be a bad idea to build all Hackage packages on using more GHC versions, but that won't happen until the Hackage project is unstuck (it has been stuck for years!).

-- Johan


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Re: GHC 7.8 release?

Carter Schonwald
johan, how do you and Bryan have those jenkin's nodes setup?

(I'm planning  to setup something similar  for my own use, and seeing how thats setup would be awesome)

thanks
-Carter


On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 10:55 PM, Johan Tibell <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 6:48 PM, Ben Lippmeier <[hidden email]> wrote:
Right now, the latest packages uploaded to Hackage get built with ghc-7.6 (only), and all the pages say "Built on ghc-7.6". By doing this we force *all* library developers to run GHC 7.6. I think this sends the clearest message about what the "real" GHC version is. 

I don't know how closely users look at the "built on" line on the package page. Perhaps they look there, perhaps they don't.

Between Bryan and me we build all of our own packages and all HP packages on the latest 3 GHC versions:


That doesn't mean that it would be a bad idea to build all Hackage packages on using more GHC versions, but that won't happen until the Hackage project is unstuck (it has been stuck for years!).

-- Johan

--
 
 


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Re: GHC 7.8 release?

Carter Schonwald
In reply to this post by Johan Tibell-2
johan, how do you and Bryan have those jenkin's nodes setup?

(I'm planning  to setup something similar  for my own use, and seeing how thats setup would be awesome)

thanks
-Carter


On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 10:55 PM, Johan Tibell <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 6:48 PM, Ben Lippmeier <[hidden email]> wrote:
Right now, the latest packages uploaded to Hackage get built with ghc-7.6 (only), and all the pages say "Built on ghc-7.6". By doing this we force *all* library developers to run GHC 7.6. I think this sends the clearest message about what the "real" GHC version is. 

I don't know how closely users look at the "built on" line on the package page. Perhaps they look there, perhaps they don't.

Between Bryan and me we build all of our own packages and all HP packages on the latest 3 GHC versions:


That doesn't mean that it would be a bad idea to build all Hackage packages on using more GHC versions, but that won't happen until the Hackage project is unstuck (it has been stuck for years!).

-- Johan

--
 
 


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Re: GHC 7.8 release?

Tim Watson
On 8 Feb 2013, at 05:18, Carter Schonwald wrote:
> johan, how do you and Bryan have those jenkin's nodes setup?
>
> (I'm planning  to setup something similar  for my own use, and seeing how thats setup would be awesome)
>

Likewise, I'm in the process of setting up Elastic Bamboo on EC2 for Cloud Haskell and would be very interested in seeing how you've dealt with multiple versions of GHC.

Cheers,
Tim
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Re: GHC 7.8 release?

Bryan O'Sullivan
On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 1:29 AM, Tim Watson <[hidden email]> wrote:
Likewise, I'm in the process of setting up Elastic Bamboo on EC2 for Cloud Haskell and would be very interested in seeing how you've dealt with multiple versions of GHC.

It's easy to parameterize builds in Jenkins based on different values of an environment variable, so Johan and I just have different versions of GHC installed side by side, and then set $GHC_VERSION to "7.6 7.4 7.2 7.0 6.12" (or whatever), put /usr/local/$GHC_VERSION/bin at the front of $PATH, and the right thing happens.
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Re: GHC 7.8 release?

Tim Watson
Hi Bryan,

On 8 Feb 2013, at 11:53, Bryan O'Sullivan wrote:

> On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 1:29 AM, Tim Watson <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Likewise, I'm in the process of setting up Elastic Bamboo on EC2 for Cloud Haskell and would be very interested in seeing how you've dealt with multiple versions of GHC.
>
> It's easy to parameterize builds in Jenkins based on different values of an environment variable, so Johan and I just have different versions of GHC installed side by side, and then set $GHC_VERSION to "7.6 7.4 7.2 7.0 6.12" (or whatever), put /usr/local/$GHC_VERSION/bin at the front of $PATH, and the right thing happens.

Ok cool, that's pretty much what I had in mind but I wasn't sure about installing dependencies and using cabal-install. In my development environment I quickly found that installing multiple GHCs and haskell-platform releases got a bit messy, so I was wondering if there was a recognised 'best way' to do this. I'll probably replicate what I've done with other things (such as Erlang) and manage it with ${PREFIX}/ghc/versions/... and symlink ${PREFIX}/ghc/current/... to avoid the path switching. Hopefully telling cabal-install to use ${PREFIX}/ghc/current/lib will 'just work' when installing dependencies as I switch between ghc versions.

Cheers!
Tim
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Re: GHC 7.8 release?

Ian Lynagh-2
In reply to this post by Simon Peyton Jones
On Thu, Feb 07, 2013 at 09:42:39AM -0800, Mark Lentczner wrote:

>
> I wish GHC would radically change it's release process. Things like 7.8
> shouldn't be release as "7.8". That sounds major and stable. The web site
> will have 7.8 at the top. The warning to use the platform will fall flat
> because it makes the platform look out of date. Really, "7.8" should be in
> a different release channel, not on the front page. It should bake in that
> channel for six months - where only the third group of people will use it,
> until it is getting close to merge into main, at which point the fourth
> group will start to use it, so that the day it hits main, all the libraries
> just work. Ideally, the first two groups of people will not pay the
> slightest attention to it until it is further baked.

It's a catch-22: We don't want people to use a new release until all the
bugs have been found and fixed, and all the libraries have been updated.
But if people don't use it, then the bugs won't be found and the
libraries won't be updated.

I think you're saying that you'd like the uptake of new GHC versions to
be slower, which would mean fewer people would be using 7.6 now, but in
the last few days I've seen the Debian guys have had to send mails to
maintainers telling them that their packages don't work with 7.6:
    http://lists.debian.org/debian-haskell/2013/02/threads.html
despite 7.6 having been out for 5 months and about to enter the HP.

Perhaps more automatic Hackage building, with a group of people looking
at the logs of failing packages and acting appropriately, is the way
forward. Some cases (such as "installation failed due to dependencies
not being installable") you'd want to be handled automatically.


Thanks
Ian


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