ANN: Mac installer pkg for GHC - trial release (Leopard, Intel)

Manuel M T Chakravarty chak at
Mon Feb 11 22:58:09 EST 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Finally, you can have the glorious GHC in a format satisfying the  
discerning Mac user:

Installation instructions: nil

This is *not* the same compiler as in the official 6.8.2 release.  It  
is the state of the 6.8 branch at the 11th of February - hence, the  
funny version number.  Once, 6.8.3 is being released, there'll be a  
clean release package.

The package includes all extra libraries and full documentation.  It  
installs GHC systemwide and requires an admin password.

Happy Installing!

-=- Extra details for the curious -=-

GHC is being packaged as a framework bundle - GHC.framework - that is  
installed in /Library/Frameworks/.  As far as I can tell this is the  
most appropriate way of bundling a compiler environment on the Mac.   
Frameworks are versioned and we use GHC's integer version number to  
assign framework versions - ie, the present package installs version  
608.  This is in line with Apple's recommendation to use version  
numbers that signify API changes for frameworks.  The package installs  
appropriate links in /usr/bin, /usr/man/man1, and /usr/share/doc to  
make the binaries, ghc manpage, and html documentation easily  
accessible.  Furthermore, it comes with a shell script that removes  
the GHC.framework and all symbolic links into the framework.

The framework is currently not relocatable and an admin password is  
needed to install it.  Contributions improving this situation would be  
most welcome.

The GHC binary in the package links statically against GNU readline  
(to provide editing capabilities at the GHCi prompt).  This is fine as  
GHC's BSD3 licence is compatible with readline's GPL, and it does  
*not* affect programs compiled with GHC at all.

The above package is for Intel Leopard.  I expect that a separate PPC  
version is easy to build (but cross-compilation and fat binaries are  
not supported by GHC).  I am less sure about building packages on  
Tiger as I don't know whether the underlying Xcode project requires  
Xcode 3.0 - Tiger only has 2.5.  However, it should be possible to  
build packages on Leopard that run on both Tiger and Leopard.  (I  
could give that a try if anybody with a Tiger box is willing to play  
guinea pig.)

Further information on GHC installer packages as well as instructions  
on how to build your own are at

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