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Hackage feature request: E-mail author when a package breaks

Gregory Crosswhite
Hey everyone,

I have uploaded a number of small packages to Hackage that I no longer actively use so that I don't find out immediately when a new version of GHC has broken them.  Since Hackage is going to the trouble of finding out when a package no longer builds anyway, could it have a feature where when a working package breaks with a new version of GHC the author is automatically e-mailed?  This would make me (and probably others) a lot more likely to notice and proactively fix broken packages.  (Heck, I wouldn't even necessarily mind being nagged about it from time to time.  :-) )

Cheers,
Greg

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Re: Hackage feature request: E-mail author when a package breaks

Johan Tibell-2
On Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 12:08 AM, Gregory Crosswhite <[hidden email]> wrote:
I have uploaded a number of small packages to Hackage that I no longer actively use so that I don't find out immediately when a new version of GHC has broken them.  Since Hackage is going to the trouble of finding out when a package no longer builds anyway, could it have a feature where when a working package breaks with a new version of GHC the author is automatically e-mailed?  This would make me (and probably others) a lot more likely to notice and proactively fix broken packages.  (Heck, I wouldn't even necessarily mind being nagged about it from time to time.  :-) )

If done well I think this is a good idea. Currently I have my buildbot email me whenever a package breaks (although the bot doesn't automatically install new GHCs).

-- Johan
 

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Re: Hackage feature request: E-mail author when a package breaks

Yitzchak Gale
In reply to this post by Gregory Crosswhite
Gregory Crosswhite wrote:
> could [Hackage] have a feature where when a
> working package breaks with a new version of
> GHC the author is automatically e-mailed?

This would be nice. However, there would have to be
a way for it to be turned on and off by the author.
(Spam is not nice.)

Thanks,
Yitz

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Re: Hackage feature request: E-mail author when a package breaks

Alexander Kjeldaas

On 31 October 2011 17:22, Yitzchak Gale <[hidden email]> wrote:
Gregory Crosswhite wrote:
> could [Hackage] have a feature where when a
> working package breaks with a new version of
> GHC the author is automatically e-mailed?

This would be nice. However, there would have to be
a way for it to be turned on and off by the author.
(Spam is not nice.)


How about sending an email to haskell-package-<packate-name>@haskell.org, and then people can join that mailing list if they are interested in that sort of stuff?  Mailman is good at doing subscribe and unsubscribe.

Alexander 

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Re: Hackage feature request: E-mail author when a package breaks

Ketil Malde-5
In reply to this post by Yitzchak Gale
Yitzchak Gale <[hidden email]> writes:

> Gregory Crosswhite wrote:
>> could [Hackage] have a feature where when a
>> working package breaks with a new version of
>> GHC the author is automatically e-mailed?
>
> This would be nice. However, there would have to be
> a way for it to be turned on and off by the author.
> (Spam is not nice.)

This is where it stranded the last time, IIRC.  That sentiment makes me
a bit uneasy; so you are the official maintainer of a package on
Hackage, but you do not want to hear about it when it fails to compile?

To me, this raises the question whether you should take on the
responsibility as maintainer at all.  Ideally, I think Hackage
should avoid being a dumping ground for non-working code, and I think
the key to high quality software is having active maintainers for each
package.  If the author of a package is unwilling to accept failure
reports, I suggest she could leave the Maintainer field blank, or fill
it with a dummy value (e.g. "unmaintained").

-k
--
If I haven't seen further, it is by standing in the footprints of giants

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Re: Hackage feature request: E-mail author when a package breaks

Conrad Parker
In reply to this post by Alexander Kjeldaas
On 1 November 2011 03:43, Alexander Kjeldaas
<[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On 31 October 2011 17:22, Yitzchak Gale <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Gregory Crosswhite wrote:
>> > could [Hackage] have a feature where when a
>> > working package breaks with a new version of
>> > GHC the author is automatically e-mailed?
>>
>> This would be nice. However, there would have to be
>> a way for it to be turned on and off by the author.
>> (Spam is not nice.)
>>
>
> How about sending an email to haskell-package-<packate-name>@haskell.org,
> and then people can join that mailing list if they are interested in that
> sort of stuff?  Mailman is good at doing subscribe and unsubscribe.

+1

I like this because it is opt-in for the maintainer, and also allows
anyone else who is interested in the package to track it.

Per-package RSS updates of build failures would also be useful.

Conrad.

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Re: Hackage feature request: E-mail author when a package breaks

Max Bolingbroke-2
In reply to this post by Ketil Malde-5
On 1 November 2011 09:00, Ketil Malde <[hidden email]> wrote:
> This is where it stranded the last time, IIRC.  That sentiment makes me
> a bit uneasy; so you are the official maintainer of a package on
> Hackage, but you do not want to hear about it when it fails to compile?

Don't forget that some packages fail to compile on Hackage even though
they work fine, because e.g. they depend on a third-party C library
that is not installed, or depend on some other package that Hackage
cannot build.

Max

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Re: Hackage feature request: E-mail author when a package breaks

José Pedro Magalhães
In reply to this post by Conrad Parker


On Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 09:43, Conrad Parker <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 1 November 2011 03:43, Alexander Kjeldaas
<[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On 31 October 2011 17:22, Yitzchak Gale <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Gregory Crosswhite wrote:
>> > could [Hackage] have a feature where when a
>> > working package breaks with a new version of
>> > GHC the author is automatically e-mailed?
>>
>> This would be nice. However, there would have to be
>> a way for it to be turned on and off by the author.
>> (Spam is not nice.)
>>
>
> How about sending an email to haskell-package-<packate-name>@haskell.org,
> and then people can join that mailing list if they are interested in that
> sort of stuff?  Mailman is good at doing subscribe and unsubscribe.

+1

I like this because it is opt-in for the maintainer, and also allows
anyone else who is interested in the package to track it.

Per-package RSS updates of build failures would also be useful.

+1


Pedro
 

Conrad.

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Re: Hackage feature request: E-mail author when a package breaks

Yitzchak Gale
In reply to this post by Ketil Malde-5
I wrote:
>> This would be nice. However, there would have to be
>> a way for it to be turned on and off by the author.
>> (Spam is not nice.)

Ketil Malde wrote:
> This is where it stranded the last time, IIRC.  That sentiment makes me
> a bit uneasy; so you are the official maintainer of a package on
> Hackage, but you do not want to hear about it when it fails to compile?

You are absolutely right about this.

In fact, besides build failures, it probably would be a
good idea for each maintainer to get, say, one automated
email per month with a summary of all the packages
that person is officially maintaining, even when there
are no build failures.

So I'm changing my vote to +1.

But let's think about why the instinctive reaction
is to be hesitant about this.

First of all, an automated system like a build bot
can go wrong. What guarantee is there that I
won't be flooded with emails when that happens,
if I can't shut it off myself?

Second, let's say someone decides they don't
want to be maintainer anymore. Are they married for life?
There is currently no way to remove a package.
I guess they would have to upload a new version
with no maintainer.

I am just a little worried that if uploading to Hackage
requires agreeing to unlimited uncontrollable
spamming by a bot, it may cause some good
packages not to be uploaded by people who are
hesitant to agree to that.

Thanks,
Yitz

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Re: Hackage feature request: E-mail author when a package breaks

Ketil Malde-5
In reply to this post by Max Bolingbroke-2
Max Bolingbroke <[hidden email]> writes:

>> This is where it stranded the last time, IIRC.  That sentiment makes me
>> a bit uneasy; so you are the official maintainer of a package on
>> Hackage, but you do not want to hear about it when it fails to compile?

> Don't forget that some packages fail to compile on Hackage even though
> they work fine, because e.g. they depend on a third-party C library
> that is not installed, or depend on some other package that Hackage
> cannot build.

True, in that case, it's harder to avoid getting one email every time
you upload a new version.  We should still strive to have stuff build on
Hackage (e.g. installing C libs or fixing the ohter packages); if the
build fails for one of these reasons, you never know if it fails for
other reasons as well.

So, I'd *love* to get an email when my packages fail to build, but I will
accept that other people have a more sensitive relationship with their
inbox.  (I assume that the people who raise this objection - Max
and Yitzchak - belong in this category?  It's not entirely clear from
your comments, and I do hope we're not avoiding useful functionality
based on a purely *hypothetical* problem.)

Conrad suggested creating a mailing list per package, another option
could be to automatically post to a single maintainers list,
highlighting the package (and preferably also maintainer) name in the
Subject. A decent MUA could then up-score the more relevant messages.

I'd really like to see Hackage move to a continuous integration type of
system, where everything is automatically built and tests are run on
every submission.  If somebody works out the software infrastructure,
I'll volunteer CPU cycles.  Next hackathon?

-k
--
If I haven't seen further, it is by standing in the footprints of giants

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Re: Hackage feature request: E-mail author when a package breaks

Brandon Allbery
On Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 06:14, Ketil Malde <[hidden email]> wrote:
Max Bolingbroke <[hidden email]> writes:

>> This is where it stranded the last time, IIRC.  That sentiment makes me
>> a bit uneasy; so you are the official maintainer of a package on
>> Hackage, but you do not want to hear about it when it fails to compile?

> Don't forget that some packages fail to compile on Hackage even though
> they work fine, because e.g. they depend on a third-party C library
> that is not installed, or depend on some other package that Hackage
> cannot build.

True, in that case, it's harder to avoid getting one email every time
you upload a new version.  We should still strive to have stuff build on
Hackage (e.g. installing C libs or fixing the ohter packages); if the
build fails for one of these reasons, you never know if it fails for
other reasons as well.

Instead of immediately sending mail, a daily process should pull up the most recent status for each package, grouped by maintainer, and send all the failures in a single daily message.  Perhaps monthly this could be expanded to also report for the successful packages.

--
brandon s allbery                                      [hidden email]
wandering unix systems administrator (available)     (412) 475-9364 vm/sms


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Re: Hackage feature request: E-mail author when a package breaks

Max Bolingbroke-2
In reply to this post by Ketil Malde-5
On 1 November 2011 10:14, Ketil Malde <[hidden email]> wrote:
> So, I'd *love* to get an email when my packages fail to build, but I will
> accept that other people have a more sensitive relationship with their
> inbox.  (I assume that the people who raise this objection - Max
> and Yitzchak - belong in this category?

Don't get me wrong, I personally would like such a notification
service. I'm just making a case for making it somehow opt-out, perhaps
at a per-package granularity.

I already use the packdeps service to find out when I should relax my
package's version bounds. Packdeps delivers this information to me via
RSS, which I think this is a great solution - I don't feel under any
pressure to read it but the information is there if I want to have a
look. So ideally what I would like from Hackage 2.0 is a RSS feed that
includes build failure messages, packdeps-like information and perhaps
other stuff -- notification of automated testsuite failures,
milestones reached ("Your edit-distance package has been downloaded
1000 times! Congratulations!" :-)) and new reviews/comments on my
packages (if Hackage ever gets that feature).

Max

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Re: Hackage feature request: E-mail author when a package breaks

Ketil Malde-5
In reply to this post by Yitzchak Gale
Yitzchak Gale <[hidden email]> writes:

> I am just a little worried that if uploading to Hackage
> requires agreeing to unlimited uncontrollable
> spamming by a bot,

The bot would, of course, be implemented in Haskell.  Anybody who still
worries about bugs, is free to implement a better one in Agda. :-)

> it may cause some good packages not to be uploaded by people who are
> hesitant to agree to that.

One solution could be to have a Maintainer field contain a name, but no
email address?  So I could do:

  Maintainer: Ketil Malde <[hidden email]>  -- send email to me

or

  Maintainer: Ketil Malde   -- don't send email, Google me if you are
                            -- human and it's that important

or even

  Maintainer: Ketil Malde <ketil at malde dot org>  -- email me if you are human

Or of course

  Maintainer:  -- empty field means unmaintained, caveat emptor!

Generalizing from my sample of one, I think most people would stick with
the first option, but at least this policy would leave things open for
those preferring alternatives.

-k
--
If I haven't seen further, it is by standing in the footprints of giants

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Re: Hackage feature request: E-mail author when a package breaks

Ivan Lazar Miljenovic
On 1 November 2011 21:35, Ketil Malde <[hidden email]> wrote:
> or even
>
>  Maintainer: Ketil Malde <ketil at malde dot org>  -- email me if you are human

Though unless the hackage email bot is smart enough, this will result
in a lot of unsendable emails...

--
Ivan Lazar Miljenovic
[hidden email]
IvanMiljenovic.wordpress.com

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Re: Hackage feature request: E-mail author when a package breaks

paul r-2
> On 1 November 2011 21:35, Ketil Malde <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> or even
>>
>>  Maintainer: Ketil Malde <ketil at malde dot org>  -- email me if you
>> are human

> Though unless the hackage email bot is smart enough, this will result
> in a lot of unsendable emails...

But the bot is not a human, so that's what ketil wanted after all.

That said, I agree with Ketil that a maintainer should care about its
package being broken, and the least would be to accept to be noticed.

If the build process fails because of some reasons other than broken
package (missing deps, wrong platform ...), then fix the build process.
It should not be too hard to skip packages with unmet dependencies, or
to get them installed on hackage servers, or even for the maintainer to
bundle them within the package, like for example this package :

  http://hackage.haskell.org/package/yaml-0.4.1.1


Regarding unsolicited mail, when a maintainer fill its email adress in
the project.cabal, and send it to hackage, his adress will appear in
clear text on the hackage page and rapidly be scrapped, invariably
leading to tons of spam (in the proper sens of SPAM). So I guess these
maintainers have some way to filter their mail inbox anyway, and should
be able, if they really want, to filter hackage build-failure email :)



--
  Paul

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Re: Hackage feature request: E-mail author when a package breaks

Daniel Díaz Casanueva
How about to a new optional Cabal field like "mail-report"? (don't bother about this name, I chose it randomly)
 
If a build failure happens, or there is some relevant information about your package, Hackage will send a mail to the direction specified in that field. A field which content will NOT appear in the package page, so internet bots can't record so easily your mail direction to send you real spam. This is the reason because I write my direction in the "name at domine dot com" form (since a while ago), in spite of I would really like to receive mails about fails in those packages I maintain.
 
Furthermore, since the field would be optional, you still can avoid to receive these mails.
 
--
Daniel Díaz

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Re: Hackage feature request: E-mail author when a package breaks

Nick Bowler-3
On 2011-11-01 12:59 +0100, Daniel Díaz Casanueva wrote:

> How about to a new optional Cabal field like "mail-report"? (don't bother
> about this name, I chose it randomly)
>
> If a build failure happens, or there is some relevant information about
> your package, Hackage will send a mail to the direction specified in that
> field. A field which content will NOT appear in the package page, so
> internet bots can't record so easily your mail direction to send you real
> spam. This is the reason because I write my direction in the "name at
> domine dot com" form (since a while ago), in spite of I would really like
> to receive mails about fails in those packages I maintain.
>
> Furthermore, since the field would be optional, you still can avoid to
> receive these mails.

Doing anything like this in the .cabal file is a mistake, since there is
no way to change it after uploading.

If your mail address changes, or if you don't want to maintain a package
any more, or if you simply change your mind about receiving status
updates by email, then if this gets hardcoded in the .cabal file you
have no recourse.

Cheers,
--
Nick Bowler, Elliptic Technologies (http://www.elliptictech.com/)

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Re: Hackage feature request: E-mail author when a package breaks

Brandon Allbery


On Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 08:24, Nick Bowler <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 2011-11-01 12:59 +0100, Daniel Díaz Casanueva wrote:
> How about to a new optional Cabal field like "mail-report"? (don't bother
> about this name, I chose it randomly)

Doing anything like this in the .cabal file is a mistake, since there is
no way to change it after uploading.

If your mail address changes, or if you don't want to maintain a package
any more, or if you simply change your mind about receiving status
updates by email, then if this gets hardcoded in the .cabal file you
have no recourse.

Additionally, if you maintain a lot of packages, you don't really want to have to change it everywhere; this kind of setting is really per maintainer, not necessarily per package.  (It is also arguably not of much interest to someone downloading the package.  Users' questions and bug reports would generally be expected to go to the main contact address, not the buildbot automated report address.)

--
brandon s allbery                                      [hidden email]
wandering unix systems administrator (available)     (412) 475-9364 vm/sms


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Re: Hackage feature request: E-mail author when a package breaks

Daniel Díaz Casanueva

Then, the mailing list seems to be an option. But then I will receive mails for every package, and there is a lot of packages! Is not a lot of mails this? There is another work around?


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Re: Hackage feature request: E-mail author when a package breaks

Ross Paterson-2
In reply to this post by Daniel Díaz Casanueva
Daniel Díaz Casanueva writes:
> How about to a new optional Cabal field like "mail-report"? (don't bother about this name, I chose it randomly)
>
> If a build failure happens, or there is some relevant information about your package, Hackage will send a mail to the direction specified in that field. A field which content will NOT appear in the package page, so internet bots can't record so easily your mail direction to send you real spam. This is the reason because I write my direction in the "name at domine dot com" form (since a while ago), in spite of I would really like to receive mails about fails in those packages I maintain.

A field in the .cabal file is just as available to bots as a field on the package page.
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