ANNOUNCE: GHC 6.10.2 Release Candidate 1

Ian Lynagh igloo at
Thu Mar 19 13:03:26 EDT 2009

On Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 12:35:01PM +0100, Thorkil Naur wrote:
> I have tried the Intel Mac installer and the source package on both FreeBSD 
> and PPC Mac OS X. Some comments follow


> 1. An important property of such installers is that you are told, right from 
> the start, that all the information you are presented with during the 
> installation process can be accessed at any time, after completion of the 
> installation, and you are told how. In case of GHC, something like a 
> reference to a suitable spot, given as part of the output from ghc --help. I 
> don't see any trace of such a facility on the introduction screen. (I know 
> that other installers don't do this either, which is part of the reason why I 
> try to avoid them.)

I didn't follow that; can you say exactly what text you want where,

> 2. The introduction screen says "This package must be installed on the system 
> volume" which seems to imply that there is some kind of choice involved at a 
> later stage. But I don't recall having to perform any choice that related to 
> this. So perhaps this should be "This package will be installed on the system 
> volume" instead.

Good point, done.

> 3. I can copy and paste the text of the introduction screen, excellent. I 
> cannot copy and paste the header.

I don't think there's anything we can do about this.

> 4. On the License screen, GMP is denoted "GNU MP Bignum Library" in two 
> places. I suggest using "GNU Multiple Precision Arithmetic Library" (from 
> instead.

The title of that page is "The GNU MP Bignum Library", and the docs seem
to be mostly consistent in calling it the "GNU MP Library", so I'm going
to leave it as it is unless there's consensus for a change.

> 5. On the License screen, replace "licence" by "license", twice.

Thanks, changed to make it consistent.

> 6. The License screen explains "that by default the GMP will be statically 
> linked into any binary produced by GHC. Software with a non-GPL compatible 
> licence [sic] will have to ensure that the conditions of the LGPL are met; 
> for example, by forcing GMP to link dynamically instead." Some details or a 
> reference to an explanation of how to do this would be nice.

I don't think we want details in the installer, but we should have
something in the docs somewhere.

> Also, shouldn't "non-GPL compatible" be plain "non-GPL"?

No, I believe (IANAL etc) any license that provides the appropriate
freedoms is OK.

> 7. I may very well be wrong, but as far as I have been able to tell, the ghc 
> executable itself that is distributed 
> (/Library/Frameworks/GHC.framework/Versions/610/usr/lib/ghc- 
> contains GMP, statically linked. For example:
> > thorkil-naurs-intel-mac-mini:~/tn/test/GHC/release/GHC-6.10.2-rc1 
> thorkilnaur$ DYLD_PRINT_LIBRARIES=YES /usr/bin/ghc --version
> > dyld: loaded: /bin/sh
> > dyld: loaded: /usr/lib/libncurses.5.4.dylib
> > dyld: loaded: /usr/lib/libiconv.2.dylib
> > dyld: loaded: /usr/lib/libSystem.B.dylib
> > dyld: loaded: /usr/lib/libgcc_s.1.dylib
> > dyld: loaded: /usr/lib/system/libmathCommon.A.dylib
> > dyld: 
> loaded: /Library/Frameworks/GHC.framework/Versions/610/usr/lib/ghc-
> > dyld: loaded: /usr/lib/libedit.2.dylib
> > dyld: loaded: /usr/lib/libncurses.5.4.dylib
> > dyld: loaded: /usr/lib/libSystem.B.dylib
> > dyld: loaded: /usr/lib/libgcc_s.1.dylib
> > dyld: loaded: /usr/lib/system/libmathCommon.A.dylib
> > The Glorious Glasgow Haskell Compilation System, version
> > thorkil-naurs-intel-mac-mini:~/tn/test/GHC/release/GHC-6.10.2-rc1 
> thorkilnaur$
> where I fail to observe anything that seems to relate to GMP. This is in 
> contrast to the corresponding information for an earlier GHC installation
> > thorkil-naurs-intel-mac-mini:~/tn/test/GHC/release/GHC-6.10.2-rc1 
> thorkilnaur$ DYLD_PRINT_LIBRARIES=YES ghc --version
> > dyld: loaded: /bin/sh
> > dyld: loaded: /usr/lib/libncurses.5.4.dylib
> > dyld: loaded: /usr/lib/libiconv.2.dylib
> > dyld: loaded: /usr/lib/libSystem.B.dylib
> > dyld: loaded: /usr/lib/libgcc_s.1.dylib
> > dyld: loaded: /usr/lib/system/libmathCommon.A.dylib
> > dyld: 
> loaded: /Users/thorkilnaur/tn/install/ghc-6.8.3/lib/ghc-6.8.3/ghc-6.8.3
> > dyld: loaded: /opt/local/lib/libreadline.5.2.dylib
> > dyld: loaded: /opt/local/lib/libncurses.5.dylib
> > dyld: loaded: /usr/lib/libSystem.B.dylib
> > dyld: loaded: /opt/local/lib/libgmp.3.dylib
> > dyld: loaded: /usr/lib/libgcc_s.1.dylib
> > dyld: loaded: /usr/lib/system/libmathCommon.A.dylib
> > The Glorious Glasgow Haskell Compilation System, version 6.8.3
> > thorkil-naurs-intel-mac-mini:~/tn/test/GHC/release/GHC-6.10.2-rc1 
> thorkilnaur$
> where one observes the presence of "dyld: 
> loaded: /opt/local/lib/libgmp.3.dylib" that loads the separately installed 
> dynamic GMP library.

Hmm, I'm note sure why that changed. Manuel, do you know?

> 9. I cannot copy and paste the text or the header of the Installation Type 
> screen, the one that says "This will take 448 MB of space on your computer.  
> Click Install to perform a standard installation of this software for all 
> users of this computer."

That looks like it's baked into the installer generator, i.e. i don't
think we can change it.

> 10. On the Summary screen, I am told to find additional documentation at 
> "/usr/share/doc/ghc/index.html". Should that, perhaps, be 
> "file:///usr/share/doc/ghc/index.html" or something else, that more directly 
> indicates how to access this documentation? And also mention the use of a 
> browser?

I think /usr/share/doc/ghc/index.html will work in any web browser. I've
tweaked the text a bit.

> 12. What happens if I have a GHC installed already? To check this, I tried 
> running the installer twice, without uninstalling in between. I didn't notice 
> any difference between the first and second install. So I guess that the 
> first installation was simply being overwritten.
> I realise that the /Library/Framework conventions allow multiple versions of 
> the same thing to be installed. But the way the GHC package is supposed to be 
> accessed is via symbolic links in /usr/bin (and elsewhere?) and these links 
> are surely being overwritten. If there is a mechanism for changing between 
> versions, I haven't noticed it.

I don't know enough about the OS X installers to know if we can do
better on this.

I'll take a look at your testsuite failures separately.


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