[arch-haskell] Arch Haskell Policy Proposal

Magnus Therning magnus at therning.org
Tue Jan 19 09:59:56 EST 2010

On Tue, Jan 19, 2010 at 9:25 AM, Xyne <xyne at archlinux.ca> wrote:
> Afaik, it is Arch's official policy to support the latest _stable_
> releases of upstream packages, which means that 2 is the only
> acceptable choice. I would also recommend downgrading if you expect the
> problems caused by the early push to last for several weeks. You can
> always push the new version to [testing] instead but such breakage
> should not occur in the main official repos (core, extra, community).
> Would this plan preclude compatibility between binary and AUR packages?
> One way of reading the proposal is that the binary packages in the
> official repos would form one set and the packages in the AUR would
> form a separate and mutually exclusive set that the user would be
> required to keep apart. I am sorry if this question is ignorant but I
> still do not fully understand the complexities of building haskell
> packages. If this interpretation is correct then I would argue that the
> AUR is intended to complement the official repos, not to act as an
> alternative to them, but I hope that this interpretation is wrong.

The biggest problem I see is that while GHC supports having multiple
version of the same module available at the same time, pacman doesn't.
 That would mean that keeping a binary and an AUR version of the same
package requires that they have different names.  Not a big problem
really, but it should be policed a bit.

The bigger problem that users *will* run into is diamond dependency
issues (A uses B and C, both B and C use D but different versions).  I
believe that avoiding that would require a *very* strict policy on
what goes into both binary repos and AUR.  Too strict to follow the
"Arch way", I think.

> Considering the complexity of this issue, perhaps it would be a good
> idea to create independent haskell repos to host compatible binary
> packages and/or an official AUR-clone for all of the current haskell
> packages in the AUR. You could then support the latest stable versions
> in the offical repos and maintain compatible packages for them in the
> AUR, and let users who require the latest versions use the official
> haskell repository and AUR-clone (or just cabal2arch) to acquire the
> very latest versions.

This is an interesting idea, especially if we get some tool support
for that.  AFAIK all "AUR builders" (yaourt, paktahn, etc) only know
about AUR, so they need to be made a bit more configurable.


Magnus Therning                        (OpenPGP: 0xAB4DFBA4)
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