[Haskell-beginners] cabal install errors

damodar kulkarni kdamodar2000 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 15 18:06:42 CEST 2012

Thanks for the clarification.

BTW, is PACKAGE too an acronym?

So, what can we say about cabal and cabal-doc?
The name CABAL poses no problem (after all it is but a name, acronym or
not) BUT (and it is a very big but)
the cabal documentation seems to tell users about "packages and package
management issues" from the very start AND still the experts seem to expect
from the beginners that the beginners SHOULD ignore this fact and should go
figure out what the real thing the cabal is supposed to do!!!

I think, it will be much better if the first thing the NEW cabal doc to
have is a link to the


On Wed, Aug 15, 2012 at 4:34 PM, Benjamin Edwards <edwards.benj at gmail.com>wrote:

> Ironically enough, cabal is an acronym: Common Architecture for Building
> Applications and Libraries. Look ma, no packages! It is shame that almost
> every new-comer gets burnt by this in one way or another. I might have a
> crack at suggesting some re-writes, or extra caveats to the cabal docs.
>  On Aug 15, 2012 5:39 AM, "damodar kulkarni" <kdamodar2000 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> 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.
>> -Damodar
>> 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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