Package dependency management: more debate is needed
You may have seen Greg's post from a few weeks ago (linked below), advocating a strict adherence to the Package Versioning Policy's guideline of specifying both lower and upper bounds when you're writing or modifying a .cabal file.
I'm completely sympathetic to Greg's desire to keep old code working. At the same time, as a maintainer of some core packages that are "upstream of everyone", I feel like Gulliver roped to the ground by the thousand tiny ropes of the Lilliputians: it's becoming increasingly difficult for me to get anything done.
For example, right now, I'm updating both the text library and a new library in lockstep. The new library has a test suite because I'm good like that, and the test suite depends on a chain of third party libraries that somewhere has an upper bound on an older version of text. If I want to make any progress, I have to do a lot of spelunking, local cloning of repos, and hand editing of fake package versions.
It's possible that I'm feeling this particularly keenly because I was, er, lucky enough to write libraries that everyone uses, but the day to day experience of trying to work in this world is a total pain. Not quite enough to make me give up, but I certainly have to expect a couple of hours of unnecessary misery here and there more or less any time I start on anything ambitious.
Perhaps one band-aid for people in similar positions would be to add a command line option to cabal-install to say "violate the dependencies if you have to". Perhaps there's a PVP policy that could be conjured up that better balances the needs of upstream and downstream authors. But the current situation sucks from where I stand, and I'd rather be using my now very limited time to write useful code instead of trying to come up with a more sustainable plan and build consensus around it.
So. All is not well in the ecosystem; and sticking with the status quo continues to be a bad idea; and I don't have the time or the energy to be the one to fix this. Sorry.