Implement opt-in for anonymous build reporting #722

bos opened this Issue May 24, 2012 · 1 comment


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(Imported from Trac #732, reported by @dcoutts on 2010-09-01)

We want people to send in anonymous build reports. We also want to respect people's privacy. The suggestion is that we should use an opt-in system but make it very easy to opt in.

Currently most users have a config file that contains no value set for the config file fields that control the build reporting feature. The suggestion is that when the build reporting config items are not set then we should interactively prompt users like so:

$ cabal update
Cabal can send build reports back to to the package server.
Build reporting helps to improve package quality. The information
sent back is minimal and it does not identify your computer.
For more details see:
Enable automatic anonymous reporting of package builds? [y/n/?]
Downloading the latest package list from
We would then rewrite the config file with the updated setting, either on or off. That will require that we correctly preserve settings and comments in the config file.


@dcoutts (Just cc'ing you because you're the original reporter and not "bos". Don't want to cc him -- I'm sure he gets enough noise.)

This is an intriguing idea, and I personally think worth pursuing. There's very little information currently about what problems people are actually experiencing versus what we think of as problems. If recent surveys are to be believed newcomers to the Haskell community (aka. "The Future") are experiencing a lot more (everyday, mundane) problems with cabal-install than anyone thought. We should record and prioritize that more than the problems of developers who are already experts in cabal (and probably have their own meta-scripts).

That said: Is this an issue that's likely to be addressed while we have 500+ issues in the list? It seems like more than an "ambition" than an "issue". Nothing wrong with ambitions, but... :)

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