Cabal-Install User Experience Feedback

Duncan Coutts duncan at
Thu Aug 14 14:14:44 EDT 2008

On Thu, 2008-08-14 at 09:52 -0700, Jason Dagit wrote:
>         The main page has the instructions for bug reporting (or via
>         the cabal home page):
> Ah, I didn't think to go there.  I was focused on cabal-install.

So clearly we need to update the cabal-install page or persuade google
to point somewhere else for cabal-install. Or both.

>         you can either register or use the guest account.
> Okay.  Is this some sort of antispam measure?

Yes. Previously we used to drown in spam.

> If so, it might be worth investing more time and re-evaluating the
> options.

If there's something better in trac then we should certainly use it.

>  I feel as though the current method used by the cabal-install project
> is "letting the spammers win".  By which I mean, you've stop working
> in a convenient way because they are jerks.  I wonder if trac has a
> way to open the bug submission but require a captcha for people not
> logged in?

We do allow open registrations now, and the register link is on every
page. Of course if one doesn't know to look on the front page then it's
not obvious that one has to register (or login as guest) to get the
"report a bug" link.

> 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)

Nearly done...

> That sounds like a great proposal.  It wouldn't hurt if you can find
> someone willing to do some technical writing and write more
> documentation for cabal-install.

Yeah, while the Cabal manual is reasonably comprehensive (if not
brilliantly organised), we've got no real docs for cabal-install yet. Of
course almost all the UI is the same, but there's not much that says

> Also, one thing I forgot to mention before, the -p option didn't make
> it 100% clear that I would get both normal and profiling builds.  It
> turns out you get both and that's exactly what I wanted, but I wasn't
> confident just from looking at the options.

Can you suggest anything? Currently --help says:

    --enable-library-vanilla       Enable Vanilla libraries
    --disable-library-vanilla      Disable Vanilla libraries
 -p --enable-library-profiling     Enable Library profiling
    --disable-library-profiling    Disable Library profiling

> Overall cabal-install is coming along very nicely (I forgot to mention
> that before).
> Thanks!

Thanks :-)


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