RFC: External library infrastructure

Simon Marlow simonmar@microsoft.com
Wed, 13 Nov 2002 17:32:17 -0000

> I was thinking "add all the things that make packages insufficient
> to use as an infrastructure" :-)
> One thing is autoconf support for those doing ffi.
> We might also want conditionals in package specs (cpp enough?).
> I don't see Makefiles as part of a cross-compiler story.  Rather, I
> see an enhanced package system that includes a subset of makefile
> functionality (e.g., Hugs' import chasing and GHC's --make
> functionality).

And the enhanced package system is implemented in each compiler?  Or
just once in the infrastructure, perhaps by a script?  Or a mixture of
the two?

One difficulty is that if the infrastructure requires certain extensions
to the package system, then we can't start using it until new compilers
come out that have the required extensions.

There are some aspects of the infrastructure that I really don't want to
provide in GHC as part of its package system: the details of building
libraries several ways, installing them in the right place, building and
installing documentation, etc. etc.  So I think this stuff belongs in
the infrastructure one way or another.

However, I'm not proposing to implement this stuff (I'm hoping someone
else will volunteer ;-) so whoever does the job gets to choose the
implementation strategy.  Obviously we'll help out with any extensions
to GHC that are needed.