[Haskell-beginners] cabal question, asked in a foul mood

Antoine Latter aslatter at gmail.com
Sat May 14 05:38:35 CEST 2011

On Fri, May 13, 2011 at 10:10 PM, Philippe Sismondi <psismondi at arqux.com> wrote:
> What exactly *is* a cabal package? I an not asking about the purpose of a package, but very literally: is it a single file? a set of files? a hierarchy of directories?

A cabal package is a set of files along with a package description
file (named *.cabal).

A single directory can hold at most one package description file.

A cabal package is traditionally distributed as a tarball, and many
are available on Hackage:

* http://hackage.haskell.org/package/HTTP
* http://hackage.haskell.org/package/bytestring

The tarball itself is at the bottom of the page, along with a link to
the package description file itself.

Most folks interact with Cabal packages using the "cabal-install" tool.

> I apologize if this seems like a silly question. However, I have just read the first five pages of the cabal user's guide, and am none the wiser for it. That particular piece of documentation is in serious need of review by a good editor, to put it mildly.  I cannot read any further in it without losing my patience completely.

It is okay! If it isn't clear, it is okay to ask questions.

> Thanks; sorry for the bit of ranting.
> - Phil -
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