Transmitting Haskell values

Simon Marlow simonmar at
Mon Nov 3 13:59:46 EST 2003

> In all, I'm finding it rather difficult to find my way in the 
> documentation (just as a data point for the documentation folks).
> To make the critique helpful instead of just a critique, here 
> are a few ideas of what might have helped me (YMMV):
> 1. My main problem was that I have no good idea of all the installed 
> libraries and the names defined in them (remember I'm a 
> complete newbie 
> to doing anything with a concrete Haskell installation). If somebody 
> tells me to look for "Show", I have to sequentially open the 
> indexes of 
> all installed packages, and since I'm a newbie, I don't even 
> know where 
> to look first.
> I'd like to see a tool that gives me a unified overview of 
> all installed 
> packages. The tool should extend the "index.html" file in the 
> ../doc/html directory so that it includes an entry for each installed 
> library (probably copied from some "manifest.ihtml" file in 
> the package 
> directories), and it should create/extend the Haddockish 
> doc-index-*.html files to be synopses of the doc-index-*.html 
> files from 
> the installed packages.
> If would be best if that tool were run automatically during package 
> installation :-) (particularly for newbies who are fully 
> occupied with 
> learning the language and don't have much energy or time left for 
> learning tools).

Generating a single unified index is entirely possible, given all the
.haddock files for the relevant packages.  I'll try to get this into the
next version of Haddock.

As for the rest, this is all stuff that could/should be done by the
library infrastructure (which is currently in in the design stage).

> 2. Remove the split between "type/class index" and 
> "function/constructor 
> index" in the Haddockish doc-index.html file.

Yes, this is also something I'd like to do.

> 3. Some links in the indexes are bold, others aren't.

The bold ones represent the *original* defining module for the entity,
as compared to a module which just re-exports it.  However, knowing this
information isn't very useful, and arguably it shouldn't be displayed to
the user at all.  I'll change this for the next Haddock version.


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