[Haskell-cafe] expanded standard lib

Magnus Therning magnus at therning.org
Wed Nov 21 16:48:13 EST 2007

On Wed, Nov 21, 2007 at 20:40:01 +0000, Alex Young wrote:
> Magnus Therning wrote:
>> On Tue, Nov 20, 2007 at 12:33:21 +0000, Vladimir Zlatanov wrote:
>>> Yes, those are good points. Maybe adding functionality similar to plt's
>>> planet http://planet.plt-scheme.org and
>>> http://download.plt-scheme.org/doc/371/html/mzscheme/mzscheme-Z-H-5.html#node_sec_5.4
>>> In plt scheme including a module, not present in the local repository ,
>>> but included via planet, resolves the module, including version,
>>> etc..., downloads it from planet, and uses it appropriately. It makes
>>> following various dependencies extremely easy. Updating with a new
>>> version is updating the appropriate local module definitions.
>>> I have no clue how it would be best to implement this for haskell, but
>>> it is a very user friendly no hassle way to work, so I reckon worth
>>> investigating.
>> Many other programming languages have packaging strategies that sound
>> very similar.  Several of them have managed to have a negative impact on
>> platforms that already have good packaging technologies (i.e. almost
>> every platform apart from Windows ;-).  I'd hate to see Haskell go in a
>> direction where packaging for e.g. Debian is made more difficult than it
>> is at the moment.
>> See [1] for the Debian Ruby packagers' opinion of RubyGems.  IIRC
>> similar concerns have been raised for Python's eggs.
>> /M
>> [1]: http://pkg-ruby-extras.alioth.debian.org/rubygems.html
> Much of that's either outdated or just plain wrong, as I understand
> it.  In the interest of balance, note the following thread on
> ruby-talk, which devolved fairly rapidly into a bunfight over Debian's
> policies (and a comparison with Apple's approach to the same problem):
>   http://www.nabble.com/-ANN--RubyGems-0.9.5-tf4840470.html
> There are arguments on both sides, but the utility of having RubyGems
> available far outweighs the minor inconvenience of having to install
> RubyGems outside apt.

All I was trying to say is that if discussions like the one you link to
can be avoided altogether then that would be good.

I have never been heavy into Ruby programming, but I thought that the
location for gems was the least of the problems they list.  The major
one, IFAIU is:

 “Rubygems is source-intrusive. The require instruction is replaced by a
 require_gem instruction to allow for versioned dependencies. Debian and
 most other systems think that dealing with versioned dependencies
 outside of the source is a better idea.”

And it's not only a problem for Ruby in Debian:

 “There are currently no plans to improve RubyGems to ease the work of
 Debian and RPM packagers.”

I think that making it easy to package Haskell libraries, and programs,
for any OS/distribution (Debian, Gentoo, PC-BSD, windows, etc) is
/extremely/ important.  I for one would like to see programs written in
Haskell make it into as many places as possible.  I'd hate to see a
Haskell-specific packaging system prevent that in a similar way that
RubyGems does.

From the Debian Ruby team again:

 “[Users can] continue to install their apps the way they are used to
 (using apt-get), since most of them do not care about the language
 their apps are written in or about other ways this application/library
 is made available.”


Magnus Therning                             (OpenPGP: 0xAB4DFBA4)
magnus@therning.org             Jabber: magnus.therning@gmail.com
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