[arch-haskell] How to deal with broken AUR packages? (was: AUR Comment for haskell-haskore)

Magnus Therning magnus at therning.org
Fri Jan 14 09:53:50 CET 2011

On Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 21:24, Peter Simons <simons at cryp.to> wrote:
> Hi guys,
> the AUR package haskell-haskore [1] was marked out-of-date by palmfron.
> Now, technically that package is not "out-of-date", because the version
> we distribute on AUR -- -- is the latest one. Still, there is
> something wrong with that package: it doesn't compile [2]. As far as I
> can tell, that PKGBUILD is broken because its dependencies cannot be
> satisfied. That is a bug, and this problem actually feels *worse* than
> the package just being outdated. AUR does not offer a way to mark
> packages as "broken", so in my humble opinion it's quite alright to use
> the out-of-date flag for that purpose instead, because the PKGBUILD
> clearly needs updating.
> Personally, I would like to keep the out-of-date marker on that package
> set, and be it for no other purpose than as a warning to AUR users who
> try to install it. I am interested in other people's opinion on this
> matter. Does anyone feel compelled to agree or disagree with this
> approach? And if so, for what reasons?

True, the package needs updating, but I don't think it's a good idea
to expand the meaning of 'out-of-date' to also include 'broken'.  It's
not that difficult to find packages on AUR that were broken and then
fixed by discussion in the comments, and at no point were those
packages marked 'out-of-date' because of their brokenness.  In fact
this situation is one of the reasons why the issue tracker is enabled
on github.com/archhaskell/habs.

So, I'd argue it shouldn't be set 'out-of-date', because it isn't,
instead I'll create an issue on the HABS project and add a link from

> Furthermore, I wonder whether anyone would like to volunteer to fix the
> haskell-haskore package? I haven't looked closely at the problem, but it
> seems to me that the build failure can be remedied by any of the
> following means:
>  (1) Contact haskore's author and convince him to release an update that
>     lifts the haskell-event-list<0.1 and haskell-non-negative<0.1
>     restrictions.
>  (2) Patch the Cabal file and the PKGBUILD to lift those restrictions.

I will attempt to see if (2) would fix it, and then proceed with (1).

>  (3) Upload older version of those packages to AUR using different
>     names, and change the haskore package to depend on the older
>     versions instead.
> Would anyone of the Arch-Haskell team like to take care of that?
> Otherwise, I feel that we should offer palmfron to orphan the package
> so that he can take over maintenance.

That is one option, but let's save that for later.


Magnus Therning                      OpenPGP: 0xAB4DFBA4
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