Dynamic libraries by default and GHC 7.8

Tyson Whitehead twhitehead at gmail.com
Wed Nov 28 17:35:03 CET 2012

On November 28, 2012 04:45:57 Joachim Breitner wrote:
> Am Dienstag, den 27.11.2012, 21:57 -0500 schrieb Tyson Whitehead:
> > I was so excited for a bit thinking that this would finally mean that
> > Debian would move to a dynamic system.  Every haskell binary being 10s
> > of MBs (e.g., pandoc = 25MB executable) makes it look kind of bad.
> its not like dynamic libraries make the bytes disappear – the
> (non-Haskell-developer) user who wants to use pandoc still has to
> install all these bytes, but now they just come split in a dozen of
> packages.

My point was more trying to get at the idea that maybe we don't need a 
separate copy of most of the bytes in each application.

> Or gix-annex, a more and more popular Haskell application: Building it
> requires 94 Haskell library packages. Now imagine this to be dynamically
> built: Now installing git-annex will require 94 strage sounding packages
> that the user most likely has no idea what they are about, and chances
> are high that there is no other packages requiring these shared
> libraries, making most of the benefit of shared libraries moot.
> Now, if Haskell was as popular as C and the user _would_ run several
> different processes at once that could share the shared library, this
> would be interesting. At the moment, I do not see how dynamically built
> Haskell programs are in the interest of our user.

I guess this is really a question of how many haskell programs are there being 
used out there.  From the looks of popcon results, there isn't a whole lot of 
take up on anything at moment apart from ghc, xmond, and pandoc.

> > I was left with the impression that we were going to have this back in
> > 2010 just as soon as squeeze got out the door...  :)
> It seems that noone cared enough about that, but any help is welcome.
> Two things to do: Patch haskell-devscripts to build the -dyn ways, and
> manually adding the additional package stance to the debian/contol files
> (if it is to be decided that the -dyn libraries should reside in
> packages of their own. If we decide to include them in the regular
> packages, this is not needed.)

Fair enough.

If I was update my 2010 patch so it worked again at some point in the upcoming 
year (I don't have the time to do this at the moment), would there be a 
reasonable chance it would seem worthwhile to include it at this point?

Please feel free to say no here if that is the case.  I realize that maybe in 
a few years, when there are even more haskell applications, we can revisit the 
again, and possibly then it will make more sense.

Cheers!  -Tyson

PS:  I don't mean to be critical here.  You've done a lot of work supporting 
haskell under Debian, and it's all volunteer.  I really appreciate that.

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