Packages in GHC 6.6

Neil Mitchell ndmitchell at
Sun Sep 24 10:55:19 EDT 2006


> Nice theory, but this doesn't work at all in practice: The majority of the
> packages mentioned so far are not purely Haskell, so one needs tons of
> development tools and C libraries, headers, etc. (all in a consistent state,
> of course) to compile those packages, which is a bit tricky on *nices and a
> huge task on WinDoze.

I believe its spelt Windows :)

GHC ships with a large chunk of gcc and assorted stuff on Windows, and
you can happily use GHC to compile up C programs.

> And there might even be packages where Joe User can't
> get the development tools without signing an NDA...

I'm not convinced a project that is open source should be shipping
things that people can't build, kind of goes against the whole open
source thing, and is just plain annoying.

>  * A set of highly modularized, small, separate installers for GHC/core
> packages and each non-core package.
>  * As an alternative, a "sumo"/"omnibus"/<whatever you call it> installer
> containing everything from the central darcs repo, plus probably even more.
> This can have the option to install only a subset of the contained packages.
> The best option would of course be some kind of "net installer", just like
> Cygwin's setup.exe, but this is of course something for the future.

Once cabal/hackage is finished, something like this probably becomes
quite easly to do - so it might not be that far in the future.

> Meanwhile, the first set of small installers should make people happy which
> have only a limited amount of disk space and a slow internet connection,
> while the "sumo" installer should make people with modern machines and
> high-speed ADSL/cable-modem/T1 more happy. Let's not forget that we live in a
> world where patches regularly exceed 100MB, downloadable game demos are >1GB
> and disks with >200GB are common even in cheap new computers. In such a
> setting, it is hard to argue that it is "much better" to surf the Net for an
> hour to get all the packages one wants instead of downloading and installing
> everything in a single click within minutes...

Just because I have a fast machine, doesn't mean I want to spend all
the time downloading GHC. And people now have a fast net connection
and can bittorrent movies all day, making hard disk space precious
once more. I agree with Bulat that its sensible to try and keep some
focus towards small and light, since those are things that impress
developers, which is our target market.



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