portability and .cabal files?

Ian Lynagh igloo at earth.li
Mon Nov 26 19:56:54 EST 2007

On Tue, Nov 27, 2007 at 12:32:45AM -0000, Claus Reinke wrote:
> >> 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!-)
> >
> > Absolutely, I'd like to see this too. My proposal is along those lines,
> > that we use cabal-install to gather test feedback and that hackage
> > should collect and summarise that data. It's not trivial however, it
> > needs quite a lot of infrastructure.
> >
> > I opened a bug on it the other day:
> >
> > http://hackage.haskell.org/trac/hackage/ticket/184
> yes, that sounds promising. but then i recalled my
> standard answer when microsoft asks me to let them
> know the details about how acrobat plugin or ghc or
> whatever have crashed: it is "no", plain and simple.
> so, perhaps promising in theory, but not in practice?

I don't know how hackage would fair, but we get a number of Debian
users giving feedback via the popularity-contest package:


All we can do is try it and see what happens, I think.

> - is there a README file? this should be a must,
>     and there are too many packages on hackage
>     that hardly tell me anything about what they do,
>     nor how or whether they build on my platform
>     (the how has been improving with new .cabal
>     fields, but those fields aren't used everywhere..)

What would go in README that wouldn't go in either the Cabal
"description" field or the haddock docs?

> - is there a build-tools field? if there is no README,
>     this is a must have.

Once Cabal uses the build-tools field in the same way that it uses the
build-depends field you won't be able to omit this (unless you don't
need any tools to build).


More information about the cabal-devel mailing list