Cutting down GHC installation to bare minimum

Dave Bayer bayer at
Tue Apr 27 09:45:55 EDT 2010

I agree with the answer that Yitz gave, but let me frame it in a bit of context:

Many people's idea of a programming language is Python, and within 12 minutes of settling in to a new language they're going to wonder how to match a regular expression to a string, or download a web page, and they'll get very antsy if this isn't obvious and provided. The nuts and bolts of if/then/else statements? Aren't all languages the same? It's the library quality that makes a language.

On the other hand, some of us could amuse ourselves on a long desert island stint with just a core Lisp interpreter. That is, till we see Haskell. As a "from scratch" mathematical environment, GHC Haskell is fantastic. The only downside is that Haskell will ruin you for working in other environments (e.g. LaTeX).

GHC Haskell is released with exactly the libraries it needs to compile itself. So one could just install GHC Haskell itself. That's plenty for anyone playing in isolation with Haskell as a mathematical environment. If you don't want to reinvent every wheel, and have a project in mind that interacts in any way with the world, you'll need some other library within 12 minutes. In which case the Haskell Platform is the painless way to go.

On Apr 27, 2010, at 8:55 AM, Yitzchak Gale wrote:

> leledumbo wrote:
>> I notice that many of the installed libs aren't required for learning
>> Haskell. What libs are required so I can get the bare minimum version of
>> GHC?
> For most people, the recommended approach is to install
> the Haskell Platform. This is not a minimal setup - it includes
> packages you would need for most normal use of Haskell.

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