[Haskell-beginners] is there a best os to easily install external libraries ?

Kyle Murphy orclev at gmail.com
Fri Oct 16 21:35:25 EDT 2009

Short answer is yes, it is easier on Linux. The long answer is that most of
the libraries are cross platform, and there are some fairly nice
libraries/utilities that can make getting an install in Windows working
fairly pain-free, but they're hard to track down and they tend to be...
touchy... about version numbers and such, in particular they're often a few
versions behind what most people are using. From the standpoint of doing
development, Linux is definitely much easier to work with, but it has its
own quirks to deal with. Getting the system up and running the way you want
tends to be a little intimidating for a newcomer, but once you've got it all
taken care of it tends to chug along fairly well on its own. Ubuntu Linux is
the most newbie friendly in general (they tend to try to do everything for
you if possible) and you'll find the answers to most common questions/issues
with it using a simple google search, but from the standpoint of Haskell
development it tends to be a little tougher to work with (most of the
packaged libraries for it are a bit out of date and/or have been modified
from the standard ones). In contrast something like Gentoo or Arch Linux are
very newbie un-friendly (you're expected to know and understand what kind of
hardware you're installing it on to start with), but because they're built
from source (more or less) they tend to have the very latest versions of
everything. Using Arch or Gentoo you'll probably learn more, and once you've
got it all straightened out it will be very easy to work with, but it's
going to be an uphill battle just getting it installed and working right.
Ubuntu is about as close as you can get to a point and click install with
Linux, but is likely to cause you some stress when working with Haskell
(although not as much as Windows).

Really it comes down to what you want to get out of the process. If you've
got a spare computer you don't mind taking out of commission for a while
(possibly as long as a month or two) and you've got some time to play around
with things and maybe learn a bit about your hardware, I'd recommend Arch
Linux. If you want something you can have up and running within a day and
don't want to worry about any of the details of, I'd go with Ubuntu.

For a nice compromise that doesn't involve replacing you're OS you might
want to take a look at Cygwin if you haven't yet. It's more or less a port
of the standard Linux shells and utilities to Windows and can go a long way
towards bringing the Linux experience into the Windows world.

On Fri, Oct 16, 2009 at 8:46 AM, david hodgetts <
david.demainlalune at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello everyone,
> to give some context: I am not a real developer. I am a motion designer who
> enjoys doing procedural animations and installations with tools such as
> processing, flash, openframeworks. This might explain some of the
> difficulties I describe below.
> Wanting to broaden my thinking skills and CS knowledge, I have started to
> learn Haskell, and I must say I am having a great time.
> I am at a point now where I would like to play around with some of the
> popular UI and graphical libraries (gtk+, freeGlut, sdl etc). But my
> experience up to now has been a bit painfull in the sense that most of these
> packages don't install nicely with caball ( on windows XP). I managed to get
> gtk, freeglut, and curl to install after long hours googling around and
> doing voodoo in msys and cygwin. Last night I tried to install the SDL
> bindings to follow a blog post about automata, but completely failed. This
> got me to wondering if the haskell experience with regards to installing
> external libraries might be any easier on Linux?
> in advance many thanks
> best regards
> david hodgetts
> _______________________________________________
> Beginners mailing list
> Beginners at haskell.org
> http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/beginners
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