patch applied (cabal-install): Rewrite the script

Duncan Coutts duncan.coutts at
Fri Jan 16 07:43:03 EST 2009

On Thu, 2009-01-15 at 23:50 +0100, Thorkil Naur wrote:

> > Patches to make the script work on windows or to detect it and fail
> > gracefully would be gratefully accepted.
> I would gladly work on that, but to make sure that I am not spending a lot of 
> effort covering ground that has already been tread by others, could you tell 
> me why the script is not being recommended for Windows (using 
> MSYS and/or Cygwin)? On 
> I read that 
> is for "Quick Installation on Unix". I seem to recall that, 
> somewhere in the vicinity of that, an explicit statement to the effect "On 
> Windows, you have to install the dependencies (zlib, etc.) by hand, then 
> cabal-intall itself, using the "good old" runhaskell [Ss]etup.{,l}hs 
> {configure,build,install} method" were written. But now I cannot find it.
> So, is this failure to recommend for Windows (using MSYS and/or 
> Cygwin) simply a matter of not having the possibility of testing it? Or that 
> it failed the first time somebody tried and there was no obvious explanation? 
> Or is there, perhaps, some serious problem that needs to be solved to have 
> any hope of making work under Windows (with MSYS and/or Cygwin)?

I think it's not impossible that it could be made to work, though the
utility on windows is lower than on other platforms since we can provide
binaries for windows relatively easily. It's still useful for
non-released versions of course.

The main issues for windows in the script I think will be the use of
$HOME, and the need for wget or curl. And of course the fact that it
needs MSYS etc in the first place. Of course it may well be useful to
the few ghc hackers who have MSYS.

Even if it does work I would not change the documentation to suggest it
should be used on Windows because that would confuse and annoy the
majority of Windows users who do not have MSYS etc.


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