Question about binary distributions

Mathieu Boespflug m at
Fri Aug 7 13:50:23 UTC 2020

Hi all,

GHC currently has 3 tier-1 platforms: Linux, macOS and Windows. I'll focus the dicussion below on these three platforms. The binary distributions for Linux and macOS are designed to be unpacked, then the user types ./configure && make install. This is not the case for Windows.

On all platforms it's possible to create "relocatable" installations, such that GHC doesn't really care where it's installed, and commands will still work if the install directory changes location on the filesystem. So my question is, why do we have a ./configure step on Linux and macOS? Why could we not have bindists for all platforms that work like the Windows one? I.e. a binary distribution that you just unpack, in any directory of your choice, without any configuration or installation step.
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