Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Website Working Group (HWWG)

Haskell represents both a language and a user community - and moreover a fantastic community full of friends, fun, and deep technical debate. Unfortunately, in recent times the community has started to fracture, e.g. Cabal vs Stack, vs These divisions have risen above technical disagreements and at some points turned personal. The solution, shepherded by Simon Peyton Jones, and agreed to by both members of the committee and the maintainers of, is to form the Haskell Website Working Group (HWWG). The charter of the group is at the bottom of this post.

The goal of the Haskell Website Working Group is to make sure the Haskell website caters to the needs of Haskell programmers, particularly beginners. In doing so we hope to either combine or differentiate and, and give people clear recommendations of what "downloading Haskell" means. Concretely, we hope that either redirects to, or that ends up being used for something very different from today.

The Haskell Website Working Group (HWWG)

Scope and goals

  • The HWWG is responsible for the design and content of the user-facing web site, including tutorials, videos, news, resource, downloads, etc.

  • The HWWG is not responsible for:
    • The infrastructure of
    • Toolchains, Hackage, compilers, etc
  • The HWWG focuses on serving users of Haskell, not suppliers of technology or libraries.
  • An explicit goal is to re-unite the and web sites.

Expected mode of operation

  • HWWG is not responsible for actually doing everything! The web site is on github. Anyone can make a pull request. The general expectation is that uncontroversial changes will be accepted and committed without much debate.
  • If there is disagreement about a proposed change, it's up to the HWWG to engage in (open) debate, and to seek input as widely as time allows, but finally to make a decision.


Initial membership comprises of:

  • Neil Mitchell (chair)
  • Nicolas Wu
  • Andrew Cowie
  • Vincent Hanquez
  • Ryan Trinkle
  • Chris Done

It is expected the committee will change over time, but the mechanism has not yet been thought about.

Rules of engagement

  • Recognising that honestly-held judgements may differ, we will be scrupulously polite both in public and in private.
  • Recognising that Haskell has many users, and that different users have different needs and tastes, we want to be inclusive rather than exclusive, providing a variety of alternative resources (toolchains, tutorials, books, etc) clearly signposted with their intended audiences.
  • Ultimately the committee owns the URL, but it delegates authority for the design and content of the web site to the HWWG. In extremis, if the committee believes that the HWWG is mismanaging the web site, it can revoke that delegation.


Francesco said...

Good to hear! Is there a ML to interact with the HWWG (and for the HWWG to speak to the community)?

Saurabh Nanda said...

Was Michael Snoyman offered a spot on the committee, which he declined, or he wasn't asked in the first place?

Gershom said...

There was a conscious choice to have representatives from a variety of standpoints, including people who have been involved directly with the haskell-lang effort, but, in the name of forward progress to not have the individuals who have been seen as central to the recent disputes, so as best to facilitate a fresh start from the ground up and not just replay the old debates in the old way in a new setting. Michael, I, and others all agreed this would give this effort the best chance of success.

Neil Mitchell said...

I've deleted some statements about diversity on the committee, because they were inaccurate or a little risque. Diversity is important, and if you feel the need to have that conversation, can I suggest the Reddit thread related to this announcement -