Virtual packages

Chris Dornan chris at
Fri Dec 2 15:41:58 CET 2011

I thought the idea was to allow a single cabal file to be able to generate multiple packages -- the primary package which shares the name of the cabal file and several 'virtual' packages, each with different permutations of the 'options' flags.

Edward will correct me I am sure if I have misunderstood his intention.


-----Original Message-----
From: Duncan Coutts [mailto:duncan.coutts at] 
Sent: 02 December 2011 13:10
To: Chris Dornan
Cc: Edward Z. Yang; cabal-devel
Subject: Re: Virtual packages

On 2 December 2011 12:21, Chris Dornan <chris at> wrote:
> Indeed it looks like a mechanism for making multiple packages easier to manage -- rather like RPM provides (from which the terminology is borrowed I think).
> It sounds like a really good idea and surely the best way of removing the pressure on providing customization through flags.

So what are we looking for exactly? The use case I was thinking of previously was something like gtk2hs which is made up of a bunch of packages and during development you typically want to build all of them together.

Do we need multiple .cabal files in one dir sharing the same Setup.hs?
Or just a local environment which links to each package so you can build them by name easily?


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