Cabal-Install User Experience Feedback

Duncan Coutts duncan at
Thu Aug 14 12:28:19 EDT 2008

On Wed, 2008-08-13 at 22:58 -0700, Jason Dagit wrote:
> Hello,
> I tried to use cabal-install but my user experience was less than
> satisfactory.

Thanks for the feedback Jason.

Sorry, I did have a longer version of this email but my net connection
currently seems to be having trouble sending emails more than about 4k.
So I'm afraid you're getting a shortened version.

The main page has the instructions for bug reporting (or via the cabal
home page):

you can either register or use the guest account.

> $ cabal install -p ByteString
> Resolving dependencies...
> Hmm...What does that mean?

So the problem is that we do not track the profiling versions of libs
separately. So cabal is noting (but not saying) that there is nothing to
do because you've already got bytestring installed.

The workaround at the moment is to unregister that package and reinstall
with -p

So the things I think that'd fix your problem in future, are:
     1. install/upgrade should report when they think there is nothing
        to install since it's using the latest version (this is easy)
     2. allow a way to force the reinstall of a package (easy)
     3. properly track for each package which components are installed
        (ordinary libs, profiling libs, docs) and allow the remaining
        components to be installed (eg cabal install bytestring -p would
        install just bytestring's prof libs, and all of bytestring's
        deps that are also missing the profiling libs) (this is hard)
     4. implement uninstall (medium difficulty)

Anything else?


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