Re: Open up the issues tracker on ghc-proposals

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Re: Open up the issues tracker on ghc-proposals

AntC
> On May 1, 2018, at 2:24 PM, David Feuer <david.feuer at
gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Sometimes, a language extension idea could benefit from
some community discussion before it's ready for a formal
proposal.

Can I point out it's not only ghc developers who make
proposals. I'd rather you post this idea more widely.

As a datapoint, I found ghc-users and the café just fine
for those discussions.
Ghc-users seems to have very low traffic/is rather wasted
currently.
And I believe a lot of people pre-discuss on reddit.
For ideas that have been on the back burner for a long time,
there's often wiki pages. (For example re Quantified
Constraints.)

> I'd like to propose that we open up the GitHub issues
tracker for ghc-proposals to serve as a place to discuss
pre-proposal ideas. Once those discussions converge on one
or a few specific plans, someone can write a proper
proposal.

I'm not against that. There gets to be a lot of cruft on
some discussions about proposals, so I'd expect we could
archive it all once a proposal is more formalised.

AntC

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Re: Open up the issues tracker on ghc-proposals

AntC

On Wed, 2 May 2018 at 8:28 PM, Simon Peyton Jones <[hidden email]> wrote:
|  > Sometimes, a language extension idea could benefit from
|  some community discussion before it's ready for a formal proposal.

|  Can I point out it's not only ghc developers who make proposals.
| I'd rather you post this idea more widely.

(I meant for David to post more widely the idea of using Github issues tracker. Because I suspect the people who would most benefit from the 'community discussion' are not participants on ghc-devs.)


The Right Thing is surely for the main GHC proposals pav[g]e
        https://github.com/ghc-proposals/ghc-proposals
to describe how you can up a "pre-proposal".  That is, document
the entire process in one, easy to find, place.

Mind you, I'm unclear about the distinction between a pre-proposal
and a proposal. ...

Thanks Simon,

Speaking as a non-developer of ghc, often there's a bright idea with no very clear notion how best it fits into Haskell, or could be implemented effectively/efficiently:

* maybe it's something seen in another language;
* maybe the proposer finds themself writing the same boilerplate repeatedly, and wonders if that's a common idiom the language could capture;
* sometimes it starts as more of a 'how do I do this?' question; then you get told you can't; then other people chip in with 'yes I'd like to do that too'.
* sometimes it's more of a niggle: this really annoys me/is awkward/is confusing every time I bump into it/even though I can work round it.


 Both are drafts that invite community discussion,
prior to submitting to the committee for decision.

I'm guessing as to why David raised the question. I've noticed (a minority of) proposals generate a huge amount of discussion, a lot of which is: you can already do that, or nearly all of that, or there's good reasons why ghc/Haskell shouldn't do that. Then maybe the difficulty that needs tackling is that the submitter isn't really following the process/perhaps the process document should be clearer about what threshold of readiness the ideas should be in before formalising(?) I'll try to avoid specifics here, but two proposals I can think of essentially amounted to: Language XXX has YYY; language XXX is similar to Haskell; I think YYY is great; please put YYY in Haskell; P.S. I don't really understand ghc and all the extensions it now offers.

As you've remarked yourself, sometimes the 'community discussion' gets so convoluted and sidetracked it's impossible to make out where the proposal is at, and whether all objections have been addressed. That's the point at which IMO the proposal should be withdrawn and resubmitted as a 'fresh start'.

OTOH, as I said, there's plenty of other forums those less formal/pre-proposal discussions could happen. Some used to happen on Trac/started life as bug reports -- which is rightfully discouraged. _Could_ happen but often doesn't raise a response. What if Github issues tracker just becomes another backwater where ideas go to get ignored?


AntC



|  -----Original Message-----
|  From: Glasgow-haskell-users <glasgow-haskell-users-
[hidden email]> On Behalf Of Anthony Clayden
|  Sent: 02 May 2018 02:34
|  To: [hidden email]; [hidden email]
|  Subject: Re: Open up the issues tracker on ghc-proposals

|  > On May 1, 2018, at 2:24 PM, David Feuer <david.feuer at
gmail.com> wrote:
|  >
|  > Sometimes, a language extension idea could benefit from
|  some community discussion before it's ready for a formal proposal.

|  Can I point out it's not only ghc developers who make proposals. I'd
|  rather you post this idea more widely.

|  As a datapoint, I found ghc-users and the café just fine for those
|  discussions.
|  Ghc-users seems to have very low traffic/is rather wasted currently.
|  And I believe a lot of people pre-discuss on reddit.
|  For ideas that have been on the back burner for a long time, there's
|  often wiki pages. (For example re Quantified
|  Constraints.)

|  > I'd like to propose that we open up the GitHub issues
|  tracker for ghc-proposals to serve as a place to discuss pre-proposal
|  ideas. Once those discussions converge on one or a few specific plans,
|  someone can write a proper proposal.

|  I'm not against that. There gets to be a lot of cruft on some
|  discussions about proposals, so I'd expect we could archive it all
|  once a proposal is more formalised.


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Re: Open up the issues tracker on ghc-proposals

David Feuer
My main motivation was that I had a vague idea, not remotely ready for a proposal, and wanted a place to try hashing it out. My limited experience with glasgow-haskell-users is that it's where threads go to die. Haskell-cafe might work, but it's a bit tricky to pull up all the language extension ideas discussed there. So I figured maybe the ghc-proposals issue tracker would be the best way. Might be worth a try, anyway.

On Wed, May 2, 2018, 5:54 AM Anthony Clayden <[hidden email]> wrote:

On Wed, 2 May 2018 at 8:28 PM, Simon Peyton Jones <[hidden email]> wrote:
|  > Sometimes, a language extension idea could benefit from
|  some community discussion before it's ready for a formal proposal.

|  Can I point out it's not only ghc developers who make proposals.
| I'd rather you post this idea more widely.

(I meant for David to post more widely the idea of using Github issues tracker. Because I suspect the people who would most benefit from the 'community discussion' are not participants on ghc-devs.)


The Right Thing is surely for the main GHC proposals pav[g]e
        https://github.com/ghc-proposals/ghc-proposals
to describe how you can up a "pre-proposal".  That is, document
the entire process in one, easy to find, place.

Mind you, I'm unclear about the distinction between a pre-proposal
and a proposal. ...

Thanks Simon,

Speaking as a non-developer of ghc, often there's a bright idea with no very clear notion how best it fits into Haskell, or could be implemented effectively/efficiently:

* maybe it's something seen in another language;
* maybe the proposer finds themself writing the same boilerplate repeatedly, and wonders if that's a common idiom the language could capture;
* sometimes it starts as more of a 'how do I do this?' question; then you get told you can't; then other people chip in with 'yes I'd like to do that too'.
* sometimes it's more of a niggle: this really annoys me/is awkward/is confusing every time I bump into it/even though I can work round it.


 Both are drafts that invite community discussion,
prior to submitting to the committee for decision.

I'm guessing as to why David raised the question. I've noticed (a minority of) proposals generate a huge amount of discussion, a lot of which is: you can already do that, or nearly all of that, or there's good reasons why ghc/Haskell shouldn't do that. Then maybe the difficulty that needs tackling is that the submitter isn't really following the process/perhaps the process document should be clearer about what threshold of readiness the ideas should be in before formalising(?) I'll try to avoid specifics here, but two proposals I can think of essentially amounted to: Language XXX has YYY; language XXX is similar to Haskell; I think YYY is great; please put YYY in Haskell; P.S. I don't really understand ghc and all the extensions it now offers.

As you've remarked yourself, sometimes the 'community discussion' gets so convoluted and sidetracked it's impossible to make out where the proposal is at, and whether all objections have been addressed. That's the point at which IMO the proposal should be withdrawn and resubmitted as a 'fresh start'.

OTOH, as I said, there's plenty of other forums those less formal/pre-proposal discussions could happen. Some used to happen on Trac/started life as bug reports -- which is rightfully discouraged. _Could_ happen but often doesn't raise a response. What if Github issues tracker just becomes another backwater where ideas go to get ignored?


AntC



|  -----Original Message-----
|  From: Glasgow-haskell-users <glasgow-haskell-users-
[hidden email]> On Behalf Of Anthony Clayden
|  Sent: 02 May 2018 02:34
|  To: [hidden email]; [hidden email]
|  Subject: Re: Open up the issues tracker on ghc-proposals

|  > On May 1, 2018, at 2:24 PM, David Feuer <david.feuer at
gmail.com> wrote:
|  >
|  > Sometimes, a language extension idea could benefit from
|  some community discussion before it's ready for a formal proposal.

|  Can I point out it's not only ghc developers who make proposals. I'd
|  rather you post this idea more widely.

|  As a datapoint, I found ghc-users and the café just fine for those
|  discussions.
|  Ghc-users seems to have very low traffic/is rather wasted currently.
|  And I believe a lot of people pre-discuss on reddit.
|  For ideas that have been on the back burner for a long time, there's
|  often wiki pages. (For example re Quantified
|  Constraints.)

|  > I'd like to propose that we open up the GitHub issues
|  tracker for ghc-proposals to serve as a place to discuss pre-proposal
|  ideas. Once those discussions converge on one or a few specific plans,
|  someone can write a proper proposal.

|  I'm not against that. There gets to be a lot of cruft on some
|  discussions about proposals, so I'd expect we could archive it all
|  once a proposal is more formalised.

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Re: Open up the issues tracker on ghc-proposals

Joachim Breitner-2
In reply to this post by AntC
Hi,

Am Mittwoch, den 02.05.2018, 09:53 +0000 schrieb Anthony Clayden:

> Speaking as a non-developer of ghc, often there's a bright idea with no very clear notion how best it fits into Haskell, or could be implemented effectively/efficiently:
>
> * maybe it's something seen in another language;
> * maybe the proposer finds themself writing the same boilerplate
> repeatedly, and wonders if that's a common idiom the language could
> capture;
> * sometimes it starts as more of a 'how do I do this?' question; then
> you get told you can't; then other people chip in with 'yes I'd like
> to do that too'.
> * sometimes it's more of a niggle: this really annoys me/is
> awkward/is confusing every time I bump into it/even though I can work
> round it.

hmm, some of that sounds like it would be better suited for haskell-
cafe, StackOverflow, Reddit or your personal twitter feed, at least
until the idea has matured a little bit more. I am worried about the
signal-to-noise ratio for those poor committee members who have not
given up on following the GitHub notifications for the ghc-proposals
repository.

We can try, but I reserve the right to abondon the experiment if we end
up with a few unproductive long discussions around some obviously
whacky idea, and a larger number of vague abandoned “wouldn’t it be
nice” issues.

Most vague ideas get better when the proposer is nudged to sit down and
write it up properly! (And some get dropped in the process, which is
also good :-)).

Cheers,
Joachim
--
Joachim Breitner
  [hidden email]
  http://www.joachim-breitner.de/

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Re: Open up the issues tracker on ghc-proposals

AntC
In reply to this post by David Feuer
On Th, 3 May 2018 at 13:53 UTC, Joachim Breitner wrote:
I am worried about the signal-to-noise ratio for those poor committee members ...

Thanks Joachim, Yes that's exactly the worry. So please tell the rest of us how to best use your collective time.

First help yourselves/get your own shit together:
there's now a long discussion on the committee mailing list about the specifics of #99. There are good questions, good answers, good ideas. None of the rest of use can contribute to that. The committee list is supposed to be low volume/decision making only. WTF?

(That seems to be triggered by one particular committee member who seldom/never looks at github, and prefers email discussion. Yous others could perhaps coach him?)

hmm, some of that sounds like it would be better suited for haskell-cafe, StackOverflow, ...

My point about "sometimes it's more of a niggle" was aimed at exactly your (Joachim's) series of proposals 'Resurrect Pattern Signatures'. The motivation is it helps "confused beginners". But those beginners won't be providing feedback on github. Instead you've got feedback from experienced users who've all said they see no point in the proposal. So the discussion has gone round and round and spun off other proposals. That whole series of discussions would be better happening somewhere else: where?

David's quite correct
>> Haskell-cafe might work, but it's a bit tricky to pull up all the language extension ideas discussed there.

My impression is not many people who could help refine a pre-proposal ever take part in the cafe.

Stackoverflow likewise. (I did raise a 'how do I do this?' type question there. It was David who responded, thank you. But I ended up answering it myself; and it turned out there was already a proposal on the slate.)

>> My limited experience with glasgow-haskell-users is that it's where threads go to die. 

(I did try to continue one of David's threads there a few months ago.) But yes, my experience too. And that's sad because it's a wasted resource. I'm grateful to Simon for noticing this thread; but most topics I've raised on ghc-users have gone nowhere. So then I've tried pursuing them by poaching on Trac or github -- which is an abuse, I know.

Most vague ideas get better when the proposer is nudged to sit down and write it up properly! (And some get dropped in the process, which is also good :-)).

Yes exactly what I'm trying to get to happen. How/where?

Here's a specific example: there's talk of baking ScopedTypeVariables into the H2020 standard. There's also people unhappy with ScopedTypeVariables as currently (I'm one, but I don't know if my reservations are the same as others'). If we don't have an alternative proposal (and preferably an experimental extension) by 2020, the committee can only go with the as currently fait accompli or continue the H2010 status quo.

I can volunteer to at least scrape together all the objections to ScopedTypeVariables as currently. It's not yet a proposal, so not on github. Start a wiki page? A cafe thread? (It'll get lost.) A ghc-users thread? (It'll get ignored.)


AntC


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RE: Open up the issues tracker on ghc-proposals

Haskell - Glasgow-haskell-users mailing list

I can volunteer to at least scrape together all the objections to ScopedTypeVariables as currently. It's not yet a proposal, so not on github. Start a wiki page? A cafe thread? (It'll get lost.) A ghc-users thread? (It'll get ignored.)

 

That’s a fair question.  We have lots of forums, but your point is that certain sorts of discussions never get going with the right audience – you especially point to “confused beginners”. 

 

I don’t know how to engage that audience effectively, and by definition I’m the wrong person even to have a well-informed view.   It’s quite a challenge because beginners tend not to be vocal, and yet they are a crucial set of Haskell users.  Every Haskell user started as a beginner.

 

The title of this thread, “Open up the issues tracker on ghc-proposals”, identifies a solution rather than a problem.  Perhaps a constructive place to start would be to articulate the challenge directly, in a new thread, and invite input from others about whether it’s a problem they encounter, and what possible solutions might be?

 

Thanks!

 

Simon

 

From: Glasgow-haskell-users <[hidden email]> On Behalf Of Anthony Clayden
Sent: 03 May 2018 00:17
To: GHC users <[hidden email]>
Cc: Joachim Breitner <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: Open up the issues tracker on ghc-proposals

 

On Th, 3 May 2018 at 13:53 UTC, Joachim Breitner wrote:

 

hmm, some of that sounds like it would be better suited for haskell-cafe, StackOverflow, ...

 

My point about "sometimes it's more of a niggle" was aimed at exactly your (Joachim's) series of proposals 'Resurrect Pattern Signatures'. The motivation is it helps "confused beginners". But those beginners won't be providing feedback on github. Instead you've got feedback from experienced users who've all said they see no point in the proposal. So the discussion has gone round and round and spun off other proposals. That whole series of discussions would be better happening somewhere else: where?

 

David's quite correct

>> Haskell-cafe might work, but it's a bit tricky to pull up all the language extension ideas discussed there.

 

My impression is not many people who could help refine a pre-proposal ever take part in the cafe.

 

Stackoverflow likewise. (I did raise a 'how do I do this?' type question there. It was David who responded, thank you. But I ended up answering it myself; and it turned out there was already a proposal on the slate.)

 

>> My limited experience with glasgow-haskell-users is that it's where threads go to die. 

 

(I did try to continue one of David's threads there a few months ago.) But yes, my experience too. And that's sad because it's a wasted resource. I'm grateful to Simon for noticing this thread; but most topics I've raised on ghc-users have gone nowhere. So then I've tried pursuing them by poaching on Trac or github -- which is an abuse, I know.

 

Most vague ideas get better when the proposer is nudged to sit down and write it up properly! (And some get dropped in the process, which is also good :-)).

 

Yes exactly what I'm trying to get to happen. How/where?

 

Here's a specific example: there's talk of baking ScopedTypeVariables into the H2020 standard. There's also people unhappy with ScopedTypeVariables as currently (I'm one, but I don't know if my reservations are the same as others'). If we don't have an alternative proposal (and preferably an experimental extension) by 2020, the committee can only go with the as currently fait accompli or continue the H2010 status quo.

 

I can volunteer to at least scrape together all the objections to ScopedTypeVariables as currently. It's not yet a proposal, so not on github. Start a wiki page? A cafe thread? (It'll get lost.) A ghc-users thread? (It'll get ignored.)

 

 

AntC

 

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Scoped type variables Re: Open up the issues tracker on ghc-proposals

Carter Schonwald
In reply to this post by AntC
Please do this! 

I don’t care what forums or list or whatever. As long as it’s collated and such 

It could even be on the prime issue tracker for prime proposals.  Just that it’s written down :)

On Wed, May 2, 2018 at 7:17 PM Anthony Clayden <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Th, 3 May 2018 at 13:53 UTC, Joachim Breitner wrote:
I am worried about the signal-to-noise ratio for those poor committee members ...

Thanks Joachim, Yes that's exactly the worry. So please tell the rest of us how to best use your collective time.

First help yourselves/get your own shit together:
there's now a long discussion on the committee mailing list about the specifics of #99. There are good questions, good answers, good ideas. None of the rest of use can contribute to that. The committee list is supposed to be low volume/decision making only. WTF?

(That seems to be triggered by one particular committee member who seldom/never looks at github, and prefers email discussion. Yous others could perhaps coach him?)

hmm, some of that sounds like it would be better suited for haskell-cafe, StackOverflow, ...

My point about "sometimes it's more of a niggle" was aimed at exactly your (Joachim's) series of proposals 'Resurrect Pattern Signatures'. The motivation is it helps "confused beginners". But those beginners won't be providing feedback on github. Instead you've got feedback from experienced users who've all said they see no point in the proposal. So the discussion has gone round and round and spun off other proposals. That whole series of discussions would be better happening somewhere else: where?

David's quite correct
>> Haskell-cafe might work, but it's a bit tricky to pull up all the language extension ideas discussed there.

My impression is not many people who could help refine a pre-proposal ever take part in the cafe.

Stackoverflow likewise. (I did raise a 'how do I do this?' type question there. It was David who responded, thank you. But I ended up answering it myself; and it turned out there was already a proposal on the slate.)

>> My limited experience with glasgow-haskell-users is that it's where threads go to die. 

(I did try to continue one of David's threads there a few months ago.) But yes, my experience too. And that's sad because it's a wasted resource. I'm grateful to Simon for noticing this thread; but most topics I've raised on ghc-users have gone nowhere. So then I've tried pursuing them by poaching on Trac or github -- which is an abuse, I know.

Most vague ideas get better when the proposer is nudged to sit down and write it up properly! (And some get dropped in the process, which is also good :-)).

Yes exactly what I'm trying to get to happen. How/where?

Here's a specific example: there's talk of baking ScopedTypeVariables into the H2020 standard. There's also people unhappy with ScopedTypeVariables as currently (I'm one, but I don't know if my reservations are the same as others'). If we don't have an alternative proposal (and preferably an experimental extension) by 2020, the committee can only go with the as currently fait accompli or continue the H2010 status quo.

I can volunteer to at least scrape together all the objections to ScopedTypeVariables as currently. It's not yet a proposal, so not on github. Start a wiki page? A cafe thread? (It'll get lost.) A ghc-users thread? (It'll get ignored.)


AntC

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Re: Open up the issues tracker on ghc-proposals

AntC
In reply to this post by AntC

On Th, 3 May 2018 at 13:53 UTC, Joachim Breitner wrote:
I am worried about the signal-to-noise ratio for those poor committee members who have not given up on following the GitHub notifications for the ghc-proposals repository....


Almost by definition, Issue-tracker traffic should not be going to committee members, unless they deliberately opt in to some issue.

I don't get github traffic except for proposals I've opted in to; and I can always 'mute the thread'. So specifically no traffic for the Issue David's just raised [good]. I go and sweep github for interesting pickings every now and then, and subscribe.

Looks like (from his puzzled reply) Simon did get traffic for that issue. I dread to think what other github traffic Simon might have suffered recently.

Can a user configure to get proposal traffic but not Issue tracker traffic? (There seem to be options for everything.) I suggest the committee members do that.

AntC

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