[Haskell-cafe] Why are new releases of libraries required for every GHC release?

Duncan Coutts duncan.coutts at worc.ox.ac.uk
Wed Nov 22 05:39:06 EST 2006

On Wed, 2006-11-22 at 09:12 +0000, DavidA wrote:
> Some recent comments suggested that every time there is a new GHC release, 
> there needs to be a new wxHaskell release (or insert name of other library 
> here) to work with it. This seems to be true even for minor upgrades, like 
> 6.4.1 -> 6.4.2.

These GUI libs tend only to break on major releases like 6.2 -> 6.4 and
6.4 -> 6.6. In both cases this was due to changes in the way packages
are managed. Since these GUI libs are both pretty large and made of
several packages they were affected. Many simpler projects were fine
with the transition.

> Why is this? Does GHC break binary compatibility at every release? Is this 
> avoidable?

Yes this is what you're thinking about with minor upgrades like 6.4.1 ->
6.4.2, so any binary packages, eg windows installers need to be rebuilt
from source to work with the new ghc version.

> This makes using Haskell unnecessarily hard compared to other platforms. 

Well, usually it's only a rebuild so as long as your build system is ok,
it's not too hard.


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