GHC 8.0.2 Stackage Nightly and LTS Update

GHC 8.0.2 has been released! A big congratulations to everyone who was involved. Accordingly, the Stackage curators teams has been quickly able to cut a new nightly release which supports GHC 8.0.2. Thanks to the efforts of the package authors and Stackage maintainers so far!

Now that the nightly build is off the ground, the curator team would like to announce the time line for the first LTS8 release. As the newest member of the team, I've been asked to write something up about this.

As mentioned in previous announcements:

A GHC upgrade process is always a bit of a game of cat-and-mouse for Stackage, where we wait for enough packages in the ecosystem to update their version bounds (and code) to be compatible with the newest GHC before making the transition.

With that in mind, the curator team has been trying to make this transition as painless as possible. We've documented the process which has been in place since the last release and have decided to stick with this going forward. It allows the maximum amount of packages to get into the new LTS release and gives significant leeway to package authors and Stackage maintainers.

So, in the coming 2 weeks from the 25th of January, we hope that package authors will take time to upgrade their packages to be compatible with GHC 8.0.2 in order to assure that their packages will make it into the new LTS8 release. Any issues will be reported on the ongoing Stackage nightly builds by the curator team.

After the first LTS8 is released, the curator team will then proceed to:

... sweep through the Stackage upper bounds and aggressively remove packages that block them. This is because, in most cases, we will need to move to the newest versions of a package to get support for the latest GHC, and asking package maintainers to backport their fixes is an undue burden.

As usual, you can quickly test if your package has compatibility issues by running:

# Backup your existing stack.yaml!
$ stack init --resolver nightly --force
$ stack test --install-ghc

If you'd like to give feedback on our GHC release process, the curator team would be happy to have a discussion either via the issue tracker or on the Stackage mailing list.

If you're interested, here's the discussion on Reddit.

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