Version control systems

Duncan Coutts duncan.coutts at
Mon Aug 11 22:35:54 EDT 2008

On Tue, 2008-08-12 at 01:15 +0200, Johan Henriksson wrote:

> I see an increasing problem in that every community comes up with
> their own package system, instead of reusing existing frameworks. 

That's because there are no usable existing frameworks. It would be
wonderful of course if there were some standard language neutral build
and packaging system where each language just wrote some lib and could
integrate nicely into multi-language systems.

> dependencies to other non-haskell libraries has to be addressed for
> every other coexisting package system (such as apt-get), if it is
> addressed at all. likewise, other languages depending on haskell will
> have trouble resolving dependencies.
> so my point is, if there will be any bigger reworking of cabal, I think
> one should consider how it could work as a module in a bigger (maybe
> future) meta-packaging framework, lifting up binaries to for example
> .deb, .exe-installer, .dmg or whatever is the most native for the
> platform.

There are tools to convert Cabal packages to native packages for rpm,
deb, ebuild and arch. The Cabal format was designed to allow this
translation. This includes dependencies on C libs and external programs.

Note that this is in contrast to existing frameworks like autoconf
which do not allow the automatic extraction of dependencies to allow
automatic conversion into native packages.

> I see a point in language specific package systems as they
> have more insight into the build process, but the current
> implementations assume a very ideal world in which there are no other
> dependencies involved.

I don't think this is true.


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