[Haskell-cafe] Library Process (was Building "production stable" software in Haskell)

Malcolm Wallace Malcolm.Wallace at cs.york.ac.uk
Tue Sep 18 06:14:49 EDT 2007

Dominic Steinitz <dominic.steinitz at blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:

> I thought the master plan was that less would come with the compiler /
> interpreter and the user would install packages using cabal.

Ideally, yes.  I think a useful model would be GNU/Linux, where there is
the Linux kernel, developed by core hackers, and then there are
"distributions", which package up particular kernels with a load of
different GNU libraries and utilities to form a complete operating
environment.  The maintainers of the distributions do not work on the
kernel, but they do test their own combinations of kernel/libraries +
utilities to ensure that everything plays together nicely.

I would like to see the same separation forming between the ghc compiler
itself (which would minimally include only the small number of libraries
needed to build the compiler), and larger "distributions" which would be
maintained by other people, and include much larger collections of
packages that the maintainer has tested and verified to work together.
In the best of all worlds, a Haskell "distribution" would include
multiple compilers, not just ghc.


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