[Haskell-beginners] cabal install errors

damodar kulkarni kdamodar2000 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 15 06:39:39 CEST 2012

> Please see this:
> http://ivanmiljenovic.wordpress.com/2010/03/15/repeat-after-me-cabal-is-not-a-package-manager/

it is unfortunately true that cabal documentation is very misleading to
many, especially the beginners ...
that's why so many of us need to repeat after-an-expert that
cabal-is-not-a-package-manager ...

But now take a look at how many times the cabal user guide mentions the
term "package" in its documentation, it is very easy to get misled...

Cabal specifies a standard way in which Haskell libraries and applications
> can be *packaged* so that it is easy for consumers to use them, or *
> re-package* them, regardless of the Haskell implementation or
> installation platform.
> Cabal defines a common interface — the *Cabal package* — between *package
> authors, builders and users*. There is a library to help package authors
> implement this interface, and a tool to enable developers, builders and
> users *to work with Cabal packages*.
       taken from http://www.haskell.org/cabal/users-guide/

cabal should have been called haskell-make or hmake or something alike...

thanks Benjamin, for the cabal-dev, hsenv tip though.


On Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 5:38 PM, Benjamin Edwards <edwards.benj at gmail.com>wrote:

> I think one point bears repeating: cabal is a build system, really. It
> does a good enough job of that. It is a *terrible* package manager and
> using it as one I think is a classic mistake that the community needs to
> address.
> My two-penneth worth is this:
> Use cabal-dev, or hsenv, for *everything* and 99% of your woes will go
> away. The the only thing I do when getting haskell up and running is to get
> cabal-dev installed and it's dependencies in the cabal per user pkg store
> and then cabal-dev sandboxes for everything from then on.
> On Aug 14, 2012 11:57 AM, "Carlos J. G. Duarte" <
> carlos.j.g.duarte at gmail.com> wrote:
>>  On 08/13/12 22:19, Gregory Guthrie wrote:
>> Thanks, I'll try that, but it looks like it could be a lot of maintenance and manual cleanup!
>> I haven't knowingly done any manual upgrades of core packages, but I have done "update"s as asked by cabal when it thinks the database is getting old. I have had such pedestrian usage that I would not have expected to have goofed up the database!  :-)
>> Cabal seems to be more troublesome that other various *package managers* like apt, etc...
>> Please see this:
>> http://ivanmiljenovic.wordpress.com/2010/03/15/repeat-after-me-cabal-is-not-a-package-manager/
>> But yes, cabal or not, I agree that there should be a better system for
>> managing haskell packages, like pip, gem or cpan... but that boils down to
>> the problem that some has to do it, and people who are able to do it** are
>> often too busy for that.
>> ** and that doesn't include me, as I'm just starting to explore Haskell
>> on my spare time.
>> All in all, cabal suits me even with its idiosyncrasies.
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