[ANN] The Haskell Foundation (+ AMA)

Hi everyone! I’d like to introduce the Haskell Foundation: an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to broadening the adoption of Haskell, by supporting its ecosystem of tools, libraries, education, and research.

To learn more, please visit haskell.foundation, follow us on twitter at @haskellfound, and subscribe to the mailing lists hf-announce and hf-discuss

Feel free to ask me any questions; I’m happy to answer here and in the ongoing reddit AMA.

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These are exciting times, thank you for doing this!

Just one quick questions I had but couldn’t solve by looking at the website:

  • Is the Haskell Foundation an actual foundation? Which country’s legislation does it fall into? (Asking because in some legislations, “foundation” is a certain type of nonprofit, but any organization can use the term in its name.)

Cheers!

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Thanks @tarleb! We are indeed an actual foundation, incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit in the state of New York, USA. We’ll be able to add that to the site when we’ve received our official designation from the IRS. So far, we have officially applied and been in “waiting” status for 5-6 weeks, but the process is slowed due to COVID and the election, among other things. To get around this, we’ve been getting things done under a fiscal sponsorship from Haskell.org.

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Happy to see this initiative and wishing good luck to everyone involved :tada:

I’ve watched the presentation and read the following notes and had a few questions:

Richard: What does “support community project” mean?

Did you reach a conclusion for this question?

FP Complete seems to be hanging back from HF

Could you share the reasons for that if you know them?

  1. How is the haskell.org organization different from the Haskell foundation?

  2. Could you perhaps share the top 3 items the Haskell Foundation would like to solve on the short term?

  3. Is community moderation (similar to rust) an objective? Is centralizing information from an official source an objective?

  4. I have topics that I think are important and close to my heart (such as newcomers onboarding / the download and documentation pages, or the general image of Haskell to outsiders) but never felt it invited to contribute. How could I contribute to the advancements of these topics, or even just voice my opinions?

Thanks in advance and sorry for asking so many questions.

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It seems an older version of the Tech Agenda was linked, and while it’s not bad per se (we didn’t change anything of substance), it does feature small meeting-minutes-esque notes from how we discussed things over the leadup to finishing it. So to answer your questions:

  1. Yes, we did. This comes in the form of providing resourcing (code/documentation labor and funding if need be), as well as promotion for certain projects as “official” solutions to things like ghcide and the haskell-language-server. I know the last point raises a ton of new questions about what constitutes “official”, and we’ll need to gauge that on a case-by-case basis with a ton of community input. There is no formal process currently, so we’re only currently engaged in the first part of the comment: resourcing.

  2. I’d like to enter it into the record that we were in contact with FPCO and, in particular, Michael Snoyman, early on in the process. In fact, one of the earliest contacts we had, hoping to get their thoughts and potentially bring them on a collaborators. They declined for their own reasons, but we still ended up having the Foundation affiliate with the Stackage trustees, who have contributed throughout the process. I don’t really want to put words or statements in anyone’s mouth about this stuff, so I’ll end there.

  3. @sclv has a good explanation here: https://www.reddit.com/r/haskell/comments/jnwg7i/haskell_foundation_ama/gb5po1x/

  4. Short term? a live-monitoring profiler, fixing Windows support, and committing “core” libraries (read: libraries used by everyone, like aeson) to a more rigorous availability standard for every GHC release, so it becomes less painful. All of these have been discussed and we have plans to hit the ground running. Longer term is more interesting: ARM support for the upcoming Apple ARM stuff, better onboarding documentation (we’re taking inspiration from Rust’s community books), and improved compile-time performance + general GHC stability. We know roughly how to break all of these down into concrete steps, and we’re really just waiting on the Executive Director elections. Once we have an ED, they will act as lead on all of these projects, and will release the finer-grained actionables, which will have dedicated people to work on them (and lots of volunteer opportunities as well!).

  5. This is a tough one. I believe it’s our purview to act as “tiebreaker”, or “mediator” for disputes involving affiliated projects, but I don’t think it would be a wise decision to take on that role for the broader community. People should only interact with us if they want to, and thrusting ourselves (and the weight of the industrial Haskell community) into the general open-source decision making process (or community) seems like it would only make things worse. So, to make a long answer short: yes, but only if they want us to, “want” being decided by affiliation.

  6. So we have a mailing list to discuss this stuff https://mail.haskell.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/hf-discuss, but currently we have no volunteer onboarding process. That onboarding process is going to be crucial, and will be our priority for the coming months. The board elections begin in the first week of January. We have until then to deliver something.

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Thank you for the thorough answers.

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