[arch-haskell] Haskell's state in Arch & near future

Magnus Therning magnus at therning.org
Sun Nov 6 10:10:08 CET 2011

On Sat, Nov 05, 2011 at 02:44:16PM +0200, Vesa Kaihlavirta wrote:
> Hey,
> I'm writing to inform you about some action I'm planning to
> takeregarding our Haskell packages.
> Current=======
> The current status is this: we have in extra repo the
> "HaskellPlatform" package which depends on 24 haskell libraries plus
> ghc,cabal-install, alex and happy. Maintaining all these is
> relativelycumbersome (although it could be made a bit nicer by some
> cleverscripting) and in my opinion goes a bit against the simplicity
> clauseof our beloved distro.
> A bit worse is that our dependance on the haskell-platform means
> thatwe cannot upgrade ghc as soon as we could. The current
> platformdepends on ghc-7.0.3, and the platform's website informs
> helpfully:"Next release: July 2011". People have been wishing for
> ghc-7.2.1(released on 9 August 2011) for quite some time.

I largely agree with this.  HP has done much good for Haskell, but I
feel it's mostly serves as a good starting point for people new to the
language and its community.  On platforms lacking good package
management (and here I mean both tools and people) it plays a crucial
role.  On a platform like Arch, with good package management and a
stated goal of being nimble and at the edge, it isn't needed as much.

> Future======
> The actions I'm about to do are following:
>  - remove haskell-platform and all its libs from extra
>  - only keep ghc in extra
>  - alex, happy and cabal-install and the libs they need (5-10) go to
>    community
> Since a ghc upgrade usually calls for a rebuild of every library
> thathas been built on it, this and any future ghc rebuild will have
> aminimum of 2 week bug-free staging period to allow all
> packagemaintainers at least some time to rebuild everything that's
> needed.

I really appreciate this, since a complete re-build of ArchHaskell's
repo took a couple of days last time I attempted it--and we've added
more even packages since.

> Haskell binary repo===================
> I've heard that there's a separate package repo for many
> haskellpackages. That seems like a good idea, especially if it's
> easy tolaunch a rebuild of everything, and if it works well enough.
> I'd liketo hear about that, if anyone maintaining it happens to be
> listening.

It is easy, but time consuming.  Just fire any questions on this to
the mailing list, or directly to me, and I'll try to answer as best I

> AUR===
> My humble opinion is that we do not need to support any of
> thehaskell- packages in AUR in any significant way, as cabal-install
> doesa far better job there than our silly wrapper around it. If
> people wantto maintain them, fine.

I agree fully.  Since I got back to ArchHaskell I've not been very
good with updating packages on AUR.  The only packages that have
received updates are the ones that are in our repo too, that means
only about 300 packages get updates, out of roughly 2000 owned by the
arch-haskell user.


Magnus Therning                      OpenPGP: 0xAB4DFBA4 
email: magnus at therning.org   jabber: magnus at therning.org
twitter: magthe               http://therning.org/magnus

Most software today is very much like an Egyptian pyramid with
millions of bricks piled on top of each other, with no structural
integrity, but just done by brute force and thousands of slaves.
     -- Alan Kay
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