[Fwd: Bug and Features Cabal]

Simon Marlow simonmarhaskell at gmail.com
Mon Apr 23 04:20:26 EDT 2007

Forwarding on behlaf of Hans van Thiel <hthiel.char at zonnet.nl>.


I got this email address from the Cabal documentation page, if it should
be addressed elsewhere, my apologies and please redirect me, if you can.

I'd like to report my experience using Cabal for a simple distribution.

1) building the package according to the instructions worked fine, no
error messages. Uploadig to HackageDB resulted in an error that
the .cabal file could not be found. The reason was its name,
"emping-0.1.cabal", which should have been "Emping-0.1.cabal". Changing
fixed it.
I did not succeed in installing my own program myself with Cabal,
configuration seemed to work fine, but build gave a message that source
files could not be found. I have not tried it yet, but maybe the above
was the problem. (It's not serious, it's a simple utility with no
dependencies and just compiling is sufficient.)

2) the HackageDB test gave warnings that "license-file" and "category"
were missing, warnings which did not occur when building.

3) it is not clear from the Cabal documentation  whether the fields in
the .cabal file are case sensitive or not.

As a feature, I feel that there should be fields for included user
documentation files or directories in the .cabal file. (I even feel they
should be obligatory for all packages.)

The Cabal documentation mentions possible name clashes for packages as a
concern. I tried the Eclipse solution for this, naming the package with
my URL in reverse i.e. "nl.speedlinq.j-van-thiel.emping" but this
resulted in a "parse error". I don't know, but the convention seems to
work well for the Eclipse people. Another possibility might be the use
of a doi (digital object identifier) in the package name? The only
problem is you'd need to get a domain prefix from the current
administration agency, but a doi as unique identifier would also solve

Finally, I think Cabal is a great idea and a great help. I hope you will
keep on developing and improving it.

Best Regards,

Hans van Thiel

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