[Haskell-cafe] Building Haskell stuff on Windows

Andrew Coppin andrewcoppin at btinternet.com
Thu Nov 8 17:04:01 EST 2007

Thomas Schilling wrote:
> On Thu, 2007-11-08 at 18:34 +0000, Andrew Coppin wrote:
>> Neil Mitchell wrote:
>>> Windows and Haskell is not a well travelled route, but if you stray of
>>> the cuddly installer packages, it gets even worse.
>> Is that why Cabal packages never ever install on Windows?
> Could you be more specific what your problems are?

Not to the point that anybody is likely to be able to help me...

According to the instructions, if I'm understanding this correctly, 
you're supposed to be able to unpack a package, and do

  runhaskell Setup configure
  runhaskell Setup make
  runhaskell Setup install

However, having so far tried this with not less than 3 different 
packages downloaded from Hackage, not one single one has ever worked. I 
suppose it's possible that I just happened to pick 3 packages that all 
have something wrong with them and normally it would work just fine... 
but all I've ever seen it do it fail.

I tried to install HaXmL. It seemed to install, yet GHC insisted it 
wasn't installed.

I can't remember what the second thing was, sorry.

I tried to install the SDL binding; it choked because it can't find 
"sh". (Which, no, you won't. It's Windows. We don't have anything that 
advanced yet.) In that case, I believe there are some additional 
Windows-specific instructions, which I haven't got round to wading 
through just yet. (Something about fiddling with some of the 
configuration files manually before starting. I thought that's what 
Cabal itself was supposed to do, but anyway.)

OK, so I'm being a little over-harsh here. In the 3rd case, there are 
some extra instructions that are supposed to make it work - and who 
knows, maybe when I go try them SDL will work perfectly. But so far, 0 
out of 3 isn't very impressive. I had assumed that I'm just doing 
something wrong, or it isn't documented very well or something. But now 
I'm just wondering if it hasn't been tested on Windows very much...

I realise it's much easier to sit here and criticise than to actually do 
something about fixing the problem. Clearly Cabal must work for 
somebody, so I was just wondering if my Cabal problems are because I'm 
on Windows, that's all.

(For what it's worth, I actually managed to build Gtk2hs from source 
under Linux - and I've never built anything on Linux before! It was 
really quite simple though. I mean, took about 2 hours to think about 
it, but it's a very old laptop...)

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