> I read a nice paper recently "The cathedral and the bazaar" by Eric Raymond,
> reflecting on his experience Linux, and in particular of developing
> "fetchmail".  You can find it at
>       http://locke.ccil.org/~esr/writings/cathedral.html
> It's really worth reading.  One particular thing he suggests is making very
> frequent releases, even if they are buggy (like daily when in intense
> development mode).  I've been brought up to think that releasing buggy
> software is likely to discourage one's users, but perhaps not if the
> non-buggy versions (ha!) are prominently so flagged, so that "users" can
> stick to them, while "developers" can pull in the latest one.  Comments? 
> (Read the Raymond paper first.)

Very nice paper, I greatly enjoyed reading it. I think that the Linux
kind of frequent releases may actually be worth a try. For the
libraries it is most certainly worth it. For the compiler proper, it
probably depends heavily on how many people actually install the
sources or even build from them. My impression from the mailing lists
is that a substantial number of users do this.

Probably a version numbering scheme like that of Linux is necessary to
distinguish stable from experimental versions (Linux uses X.Y.Z where
Y is even for stable and odd for experimental versions). Linux ftp
sites usually keep the even and odd kernel versions in two separate
subdirectories to avoid confusion.

  • GHC status Simon L Peyton Jones
    • Manuel Chakravarty

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