A suggestion for GHC download pages

Wolfgang Jeltsch g9ks157k at acme.softbase.org
Mon Jan 28 14:47:35 EST 2008

Am Montag, 28. Januar 2008 18:52 schrieb Albert Y. C. Lai:
> 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.

While the situation might be improvable, I want to add that I had no big 
problems building GHC because, as far as I remember, the README and INSTALL 
files told me the meaning of extralibs etc.

Best wishes,

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