During last Friday’s WG meeting, I wanted to ask about whether we should embark on our technical agenda, or whether we should wait for the Board and ED to be installed.
Of the different directions we thought the HF might want to explore, one seems easiest to execute on:
Windows support. Currently Windows commands a plurality of potential users, yet GHC’s support suffers from instability and poor user experience. The HF will address this by fostering the coordination of fixes for the known Windows-specific issues and the promotion of a proper installer.
A slightly harder one:
Streamline the profiling experience. Building high quality haskell applications requires the ability to have a good understanding of runtime characteristics. While we have a plethora of tools ranging from the slightly antiquated hp2ps, to newer eventlog-based tools like ThreadScope, to live monitoring in the form of EKG, we do not have a unified profiling framework nor the supporting documentation for such. The HF will foster unifying existing tooling and assist with existing or new work on documentation and best practices around profiling Haskell applications, while having an open ear for the needs of industrial applications of Haskell.
(Both of these are cribbed from the technical agenda, which is requested to be posted on the website by https://github.com/haskellfoundation/haskell.foundation/issues/38.)
Should we execute? And, if so, which one? How? The second seems inherently to require some opinions, so I’m hesitant to move forward without e.g. an ED to have opinions. But maybe I’m wrong here.
My sense is that we may want to capture our momentum. And, from a fund-raising standpoint, it certainly looks good if we’ve accomplished some goal right away. Thus, my desire to get moving.
Yet: My thought is that our first line of attack on any technical issue would be to identify people already working in a space and seek to support them. To me, though, it’s unclear how we could support them at this point. We have money raised, but we don’t have any employees. We could, I suppose, pay someone (e.g. a contractor) to do this support work… but that seems rather roundabout and inefficient – especially when we might have an in-house employee in the not-too-distant future who could do the support work.
So I’d love feedback and thoughts from the group here about what our next steps should be. I feel there are strong reasons both to blast forward and to wait.