release schedule and Linux distros

Jens Petersen juhpetersen at
Thu Jun 7 07:55:49 BST 2012


For a while I have been feeling that Linux distros seem to be at a bit
of a disadvantage compared to Windows and MacOS for Haskell Platfom

Since distros ship a lot more Haskell packages than just Platform,
updating haskell-platform is a major task for us...

I think at least Ubuntu and Fedora are basically on time-based release
schedules.  In particular Ubuntu releases twice a year in April and
October and the Fedora Project normally releases roughly a month later
[1].  Not sure if this applies as much to Debian as well, but at least
Ubuntu and Fedora are two of the major Linux distros so it would be
advantageous for the Haskell community using Linux systems if the
Platform schedule could be made better for Linux users to give distros
a better chance of shipping a recent release.

So I am wondering now what would be the optimal time for Haskell
Platform releases say for Ubuntu?  Given that Fedora generally
releases after Ubuntu - a date that works well for Ubuntu would
probably work well for Fedora too.

For example looking at the coming Fedora 18 development cycle [2] the
Alpha freeze is currently 2012-08-14 and Beta freeze is set for
So for Fedora at least, if we wanted to have ghc-7.4.2+ and Haskell
Platform 2012.4 in the next release (we just released Fedora 17 with
haskell-platform-2011.4...), then I think we would need the final
2012.4 release in August and an alpha/beta release in July.  I imagine
the cut-off dates for Ubuntu might be roughly a month earlier say, but
hopefully the Ubuntu people can chime in on their thoughts too?

Otherwise at least for the Fedora 18 release in November probably we
will just stick with ghc-7.4.1 and HP 2012.2 to follow the stable
platform.  The current HP schedule of a final in November is really
too late for Fedora 18 and Ubuntu 12.10, but maybe okay for Fedora 19
and Ubuntu 13.04: though that is quite a lag, which is the problem I
am trying to highlight in this mail.

If others have thoughts or ideas for improving the turnaround time for
Linux Haskell Platform and making Linux more of a first class HP
citzen, I would be interested to hear them.

Personally I would favour maybe decoupling the HP source and binary
releases completely, and also doing more regular developmental HP
releases between the stable ones to make it a more continuous
opensource process.



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