portability and .cabal files?

Claus Reinke claus.reinke at talk21.com
Sun Nov 25 13:07:10 EST 2007

>> I guess you could indicate that a package won't build in some
>> configuration using the buildable field.  Hackage ought to learn
>> to use that too.
> Oh you mean we should say:
> if os(windows)
>  -- this package is known not to work on windows
>  buildable: false
> and then cabal should fail on configuration, and cabal-install should
> not consider depending on that package in that configuration?

if hackage started to display platform dependencies,
that might help to get .cabal authors to document them.

but there would need to be a single convention for
documenting this, and it would have to be advertized
and promoted, perhaps even enforced.

having lots of packages is no good unless they work
on your platform, and being explicit about which
platforms a package does not (currently, for lack
of porting, or ever, for hardwired dependencies)
work is the first step toward improving the situation.

i'd much rather have hackage tell me which packages
are usable with my platform (build-reports verifying
.cabal file accuracy), than tell me how many people
on other platforms are using those packages without
caring about portability to other platforms!-)


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