[Haskell-cafe] Poor first impression

Joe Re jre2 at uiuc.edu
Fri Apr 27 16:08:33 EDT 2007

On 4/27/07, Fernando Cassia <fcassia at gmail.com> wrote:
> I admit in shame never having heard about Haskell before. I know about PHP,
> Python, IBM' s REXX, TCL, TCL/TK, perl... but Haskell, never.
> So, here's how I landed in Haskell-land: I was looking for a simple
> ncurses-based text mode mp3 player with some sort of basic GUI and found
> "HMP3" written in, you guessed it, Haskell.
> So I follow the directions and download the huge 30MB+
> ghc-6.6.1-i386-unknown-linux.tar.bz2. Bunzip2 it. tar xvf
> it. ./configure and "make install". So far, so good.
> and I get the following message, supposedly telling me that the haskell
> compiler was installed OK...
> =======================================================================
>  Installation of ghc-6.6.1 was successful.
>  To use, add /usr/local/bin to your PATH.
>  For documentation, see /usr/local/share/ghc-6.6.1/html/index.html
> =======================================================================
>  (/usr/local/bin is already in my path)
>  So I decide to call the ghc compiler with no arguments to see if it was
> indeed installed, and I get this:
>  [root at localhost ghc-6.6.1]# ghc
>  /usr/local/lib/ghc-6.6.1/ghc-6.6.1: error while loading shared libraries:
> libreadline.so.4: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
>  #
>  So, I conclude that Haskell is not ready for prime time, if it cannot
> install itself correclty including shared libs in a standard Fedora Core 6
> system.
>  Goodbye Haskell, I just wanted to compile a MP3 player, and perhaps if the
> compiler installed OK with no issues, I'd have taken a look at the language.
> But as of right now, I don't have time to waste with broken compiler
> installers.
>  Byebye
>  FC
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This doesn't seem to be a Haskell problem, so much as a package
management system problem.  As nice as it would be to have code
compile without a hitch on every distro of *nix, many packages don't.
For the most part, people just (and rightly should) use the package
management provided by their distro, which should automagically take
care of dependencies and version mismatches for you.

I've yet to have so much as a fuss on any of the many debian and
gentoo systems I've installed ghc on through apt/portage, and while I
have a disliking for rpms, I'm sure Fedora's yum system must have ghc
in their repository now.

Perhaps you were installing by tarball because you thought Fedora
doesn't have a recent version of ghc in their repositories?

Minor side note: ghc is just one of many (albeit the dominant)
compiler for Haskell.  Surely you wouldn't discredit C++ as a language
just because your borland compiler broke? :-)

Joseph Re, ACM at UIUC SigNet Chair

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