Build system idea

Duncan Coutts duncan.coutts at
Wed Aug 13 16:32:39 EDT 2008

On Wed, 2008-08-13 at 22:47 +1000, Roman Leshchinskiy wrote:

> Again, I'm not arguing against a build system written in Haskell. I'd  
> just like it to be completely separated from Haskell's packaging  
> system. In particular, "polluting" a package description with build  
> information seems wrong to me.

There is a huge overlap of course. The things needed to build a package
tend to be the dependencies. The ability to automatically extract the
dependencies from a package description is crucial as it is what enables
automatic package management either directly or by conversion to distro
packages. Tools like automake + autoconf do not give us that.

There is of course some separation possible, which in Cabal roughly
corresponds to the stuff under Distribution.Simple vs everything else.
We could split those two aspects into separate packages but it's not
clear to me that we'd gain much by doing that.

There is still the Make build type which we could improve if people want
it. That allows the declarative stuff to be given in the .cabal file (so
that package managers can do their thing) and all the building is
delegated to make. People have not shown any interest in this so it's
never been improved much. The obvious disadvantage of using it is that
you have to do a lot of work to make your build system do all the things
that users expect.


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