Darcs is not a particularly policy-driven project; we tend to make decisions using case-by-case consensus. On the other hand, we sometimes find it helpful to maintain a small set of rules for the sake of consistency or efficiency. We will document these rules here as we grow them.


  • darcs-users: all discussions (user and developer); open to all
  • darcs-devel: automated traffic only (bugtracker, buildbot); open to all
  • darcs-private: sensitive discussions only, to be avoided where possible; open to `darcs core team` members (see top of DarcsTeam)


Rough consensus from the current pool of commit bit holders. May be revised as the pool grows. See DarcsTeam.


We welcome small third-party tools (eg. shell completion scripts) in our contribs/ directory. Our only requirement is that they be maintained. Bugs related to a contrib script can be tracked on if there is not already a tracker for them. Note that if the tool or script appears to be unmaintained - for example if we receive a bug report but get no response from the maintainer - then we reserve the right to remove it outright. Re-submissions are of course welcome when a maintainer is available.


  • Author keeps copyright
  • GPL (or more liberal) for source code
  • MIT for test suites


Libraries we depend on should be GPL-compatible. If the patch author introduce a new dependency that is not cabal installable, he or she should post a heads-up on the mailing list as this will likely break people’s builds of Darcs.

GHC and Haskell-Platform versions

We will support the last two stable branches of GHC (for which a Haskell Platform has been released).

As a reference, here are the versions provided by Ubuntu:

Concretely, we support GHC versions as old as the one provided by the current Debian stable.


Benevolent Dictator chosen by an Oversight Committee and deposed with a vote of at least 3/4 of its members.

See the SFC agreement for details (though the agreement technically only covers our relationship with the SFC, we use it as the basis for our political system)