Configure/build separation

Duncan Coutts duncan.coutts at
Thu Aug 17 10:29:00 EDT 2006

On Thu, 2006-08-17 at 14:50 +0100, Neil Mitchell wrote:
> Hi,
> First off, being a windows user, having a configure/build separation
> seems a bit unusual.

It's more for developers I'd say. It means you can configure once and
then build, modify code, build, modify code etc etc without having to
reconfigure each time.

It's a distinction that an end user install tool like cabal-install
doesn't need to make.

> However, accepting that separation has been chosen, I was wondering
> what the design rationale for the following behaviour is:
> I download alex from darcs, runhaskell Setup configure checks for an
> absolute pile of things - such as alex, c2hs, cpphs - all things that
> are absolutely not required.

I do not believe that was a deliberate design decision, but it was the
quickest thing to code.

> In amongst all this waffle, it also checks for Happy - an absolute
> essential build dependancy. It doesn't find that, like it doesn't find
> plenty of other things, and continues straight along. Then when I try
> to buid, it fails.

It would be great if it worked out what was needed and only checked for
those, and then all failures could be reported.

> So the two points are:
> 1) Shouldn't configure check for what is required, rather than
> everything that any Haskell program might possibly require.
> 2) Shouldn't failing a configure check be an error, directing you to
> go get happy?

Yes please. Send patches! :-)

> PS. I'm really liking this Cabal thing, its a very nice concept.

Glad you've come round to the idea. :-) It really isn't an anti-windows
conspiracy ;-)


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