[Haskell-cafe] Trivial database access in Haskell

Paul Moore p.f.moore at gmail.com
Mon Dec 11 17:46:44 EST 2006

On 12/11/06, Kirsten Chevalier <catamorphism at gmail.com> wrote:
> This is when you write that documentation :-) And I say that without
> knowing anything about any of the Haskell database libraries -- I just
> suspect that if you can't find any good documentation for them, that's
> your cue to write it.

Sorry, I didn't make that clear - I absolutely would be happy to write
up whatever I ended up with that works.

The point I was trying (badly!) to make was that without sample code
on how to do "trivial" queries, I can't work out which library is
closest to what I want. And without installation instructions, I can't
try them out.

What I *can* do, is to attempt to install one of the libraries that
looks closest to what I want (probably HDBC, because I'm familiar with
the Python DB-API). But I honestly have little or no idea how to start
- following the HDBC link on the Haskell Wiki leads to a huge list of
tar.gz files, with no indication of which one I might want :-(

Option 2, Takusen, leads to a file listing, but no downloadable package.

Option 3, HSQL, leads to a page which doesn't mention Oracle support
(even though the Wiki page does) so I'm put off trying further...

> This might not seem like a helpful answer, but often it's the best
> answer anyone can give. I realize that you only have so many hours in
> the day, but only a few people get paid to work on Haskell full-time.
> So if you really wanted to find out whether the existing libraries
> would work for your purposes, try it, and write up what you found so
> that other people can benefit from it.

Will do, but I need help with "try it", and I'm guessing as to which
library is my best bet :-(

This is my first real experience with trying to obtain and use a 3rd
party library with Haskell, so I apologise if these are newbie-level
dumb issues. I'm not trying to complain, but I do suspect there is an
issue here with easy library availability that the Haskell community
could look at. Python was in a similar situation for a long time, and
I suspect it's just a bit further down the track. Certainly from what
I've seen of Cabal, it's similar in philosophy to Python's distutils.
But this is going off on a tangent - maybe I'll revisit it when I've
got some more experience under my belt with installing DB libraries


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