Hackage and ghc shipped package contents mismatch

Ben Gamari ben at smart-cactus.org
Fri Jan 18 16:10:35 UTC 2019

Moritz Angermann <moritz.angermann at gmail.com> writes:

> Dear friends,
> the other day I've run into an issue where I could not build a package.  It turned out that
> the underlying reason was that the packages ghc ships with are not necessarily the same
> as they are on hackage. Ryan was kind enough to open Ticket 16199[1].
> My use case is that I reduce the set of packages I use from the package database that ghc
> ships, and build the others myself.  Thus if packages in the package database as shipped
> with ghc do not match the ones found on hackage for the SAME VERSION, I run into issues.
> I've since devised a script to compute the difference between packages in GHC and the ones
> on hackage with the same version[2]. 
> I've then sat out to compute the differences for ghc8.4 and ghc8.6 using the following
> approach:
> for release in ghc-8.4.1-release ghc-8.4.2-release ghc-8.4.3-release ghc-8.4.4-release \
>                ghc-8.6.4-release ghc-8.6.2-release ghc-8.6.3-release; do
>   git checkout $release
>   git reset --hard HEAD && git clean -xffd
>   git submodule update --init --recursive && git clean -xffd
>   ../verify-packages.sh
>   mkdir -p ../$release
>   find package-diffs -not -empty -type f -exec cp {} ../$release \;
> done
> I've compiled them[3] for inspection (and because I need to patch my hackage packages to
> match the ones that ghc ships).
> I'm sorry to report that I found discrepancies between the package we ship with GHC and
> the ones on haskell for each ghc release in 8.4 and 8.6.  Some changes are minor, such
> as version bumps, as can be represented with revisions on hackage as well.  Other are not
> so minor. The one over which I tripped was transformers-  The diff[4] is 20K.
This is very concerning.

> I therefore propose that we make sure to only ship packages with GHC that match their
> respective versions on hackage.
To be clear, this is already our policy. The problem is that we have
historically had no mechanical checking that this is in fact the case
and synchronizing with upstreams is inevitably a messy process.
Your script will help considerably.


- Ben
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