Why is there a cabal file at all?

Isaac Jones ijones at syntaxpolice.org
Wed Jan 10 11:22:56 EST 2007

Marc Weber <marco-oweber at gmx.de> writes:

> Isaac: I'm new to this project cabal/ hackage. So I need to know wether
> this is still the right place to discuss this (because this descission
> has been made some time ago and Cabal seems to move in a direction I
> don't like (using text/ cabal file like configurations)
> Or is the right thing to do fork and create another mailinglist if
> anyone is interested, too?

I certainly wouldn't encourage you to fork.  I think that the design
of cabal is quite good, and the closest to what users actually want.
I think that at this point, it's a bikeshed (and one that's already
been built (and painted)):

There are more exciting and interesting things to work on now.  The
action is in cabal-install and hackage; building layered tools to get
Haskell programs into the hands of end-users.

But if you are seriously interested in the area of a domain specific
language for packages, I'd encourage you to make it something that
would work within the context of the hooks, so that people can write
nicer Setup scripts, and it should be pretty neutral to whether or not
there's a package description file.  Writing setup scripts isn't too
easy these days, and if you can come up with something to make it
better, that would be great.

Remember: Cabal isn't only the build infrastructure, it's also the
metadata format that tools like Hackage use.  If you decide to combine
data and code, you will no longer be able to manipulate the data with
another tool.

> Anyway it would be cool to put these kinds of "descission" having been
> made long time ago somewhere on the cabal page for information why Cabal
> is the way it is.

Feel free to do so on the wiki if you dig stuff up.

> When I come up with something useful I'll post here again.

Feel free!



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