install doesn't install under Windows

Neil Mitchell ndmitchell at
Mon Aug 21 18:25:15 EDT 2006


> First, in my experience, there is no "normal" here.  Here's few popular
> options.
And thats the problem :)

> For well-known programs, registry keys.  HKCU/Programs/Foo/InstallDir=c:\Foo
> or something like that (exact path is something a bit more complex)
Thats not great, esp since Haskell programs are in general not registry aware.

> Visual studio adds environment variable like:
> VS80COMNTOOLS=C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\Tools\
> which is easy to expand to right directories if you know the way toolset
> if organised.  It is a great idea, to certain extent.  It's maybe right way for
> compilers, but for other programs like might be confusing.
Again, this causes much pain, to me.

> their installation directory in PATH.  I find the automatic addition to PATH
> disgusting for devel environment, it tends to lend a hand for lazy devels that
> then forget what they need, which easily results in non-reproducible
> environment.
I'd say its ok if Haskell adds one single entry to the PATH, for all
cabal installed programs. That I can live with.

The good and bad of each are as follows:

1) Move alex.exe into some global Haskell directory for binaries
(which is on the PATH)
Not too bad, but while names might not clash, if too Cabal programs
both have LICENSE in their same directory, and both read it, things go
wrong. The whole issue is that name uniqueness goes.

2) Make an alex.bat in some global Haskell binary directory (on the PATH)
Again, quite workable. There are a few disadvantages, the app isn't
real, so certain things don't always work exactly like they should -
for example Ctrl-C will ask "do you want to terminate the batch file"
- not just kill Alex.

3) Make Cabal detect wherever it puts alex, so it can then use it.
Good, and at a very minimum, Cabal should detect where it put
something. It could even keep an installed tools database, if it felt
the need. The disadvantage is you then can't invoke Alex/Haddock etc
at the command line, which is useful to have.

4) Put whereever it puts alex on the PATH.
I hate this one as much as Esa does.



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