A suggestion for GHC download pages

Albert Y. C. Lai trebla at vex.net
Mon Jan 28 12:52:44 EST 2008

On GHC version-specific download pages (e.g., 
http://www.haskell.org/ghc/download_ghc_682.html), under Source 
Distribution, it would reduce a major confusion of the form "I built GHC 
from source, now I use it, it says Network.CGI not found" if after the 
filename ghc-6.8.2-src.tar.bz2 it is also said "compiler and almost no 
libraries", and after the filename ghc-6.8.2-src-extralibs.tar.bz2 it is 
also said "most libraries, but it takes hours to build, Hackage has them 
piecemeal and more". Perhaps it would also be nice to say how to use the 
latter, e.g., "unpack this over the compiler source before building, 
before even building the compiler".

Does it need to be said? Seems to be yes according my experience in 
#haskell. Here is how it can be misunderstood. Given the word 
"extralibs" and the file sizes, and no other words, what would an 
outsider think? Between the disproportionate 7MB and 2MB, 7MB must be 
because all the popular libraries are there, 2MB must be because 
"extralibs" means fringe, niche libraries. There lies the misunderstanding.

Isn't it already said in the build guide? Yes it is, but the path 
between the download page and the build guide is not obvious. There is 
mention of the build guide, but it is put under the precondition "if 
your platform is not supported". IMO there should be no precondition; 
absolutely everyone building from source should be tempted to see the 
build guide.

Perhaps the source section should also be close to the bottom of the 
download page, not to the top, reflecting what we recommend for most people.

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