[darcs-users] new darcs maintainer: Guillaume Hoffmann

Guillaume Hoffmann guillaumh at gmail.com
Thu Oct 8 18:36:42 UTC 2015

Hi everyone,

I guess I should say a few words about this :-)

First I'd like to thank Eric for his work as a maintainer for 7 years,
and hope he'll stick around!

For the observers that might wonder what is going to change for the
Darcs project, the answer is: not much.

Ever since I started participating to Darcs (2009, my first sprint
attendance :,-) ), I found the project to be very collaborative and
consensus-lead. Anyone is welcome to send patches, code reviews are
public and are a great opportunity to learn about Darcs' codebase;
release management duties have been shared between several members over
time; coding sprints are open for participation, and indeed, every time
we have a few non-darcsers visiting us and helping. I am very happy
with these aspects of Darcs as a free software project, and Eric ensured
all of this happened over the years.

So, things will continue as before!

As for Darcs the software, how is it going to evolve? I cannot answer
this question alone for the long term. What I can say, is that in the
past I sometimes found Darcs' evolution as being a little too slow and
conservative. We lost valuable energy and focus in decisions which did
not pay off eventually. On some topics we did not reach any conclusion
and sticked to the status quo. My guess is that this drove a few hackers
to stop contributing, while the users also left anyway!

I don't mean that we're going to break everything just to make us
developers happy. The very nature of Darcs leads us to be conservative:
Darcs is not just a software but also a data format (Darcs repositories)
which we don't want to change unless we have a *really* good reason
to do so. Also, Darcs handles other people's data, so we want it to be
safe and predictable. On the other hand, I think we should really commit
to the transitions we set ourselves to do, and remember that developer
energy is a scarce resource.

Now for the short term, what is going to happen? We had a big 2.10
release last April, 3 years after 2.8. It included a lot of new stuff,
which made us very happy; but the release process was consequently
quite long. I'd like the next release to happen sooner and I propose
myself to take care of it for a second time. The release process will
start after the GHC 8 release and the next sprint, which means February.

Happy hacking!


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