[Haskell-cafe] Re: Ubuntu and ghc

Achim Schneider barsoap at web.de
Wed Jun 4 09:25:52 EDT 2008

Ketil Malde <ketil at malde.org> wrote:

> Achim Schneider <barsoap at web.de> writes:
> Caveat: I have only a vague grasp on what exactly is being criticized
> here - using a modern Linux distribution, tons of packages are
> available, and almost all issues Claus point out seem to be taken care
> of - at least as far as I can see.
> > Well, then there are developers who don't want to do .ebuilds, .rpms
> > for 20 distributions, .debs for 20 distributions, .cabs... Meaning
> > that if you have a project with 5 developers using 3 1/2
> > distributions, you will have a hard time installing.
> I think you should either require your developers to use the system
> that is provided to them, or be able and willing to maintain their own
> system.  Most large Linux distributions seem to come with lots of
> Haskell-related stuff nowadays - 139 packages on my Ubuntu install
> (divide by something close to 3, as most library stuff comes in -dev,
> -doc and -prof variants).
Well, you have a point but still don't have one. Many of gentoo's
haskell .ebuilds are seriously outdated, eg. wxhaskell still depends on
ghc 6.4. See "Damnit, we need a CPAN"

The haskell overlay features about 240 packages from alex to yi,
hackage currently lists 596 packages.

There are always things that a distribution doesn't include, especially
sparsely used special purpose software. Compiling a LADSPA plugin by
hand isn't that much of an issue, but you'll get into problems as soon
as you want your programs to find it without touching paths that only
your system's package manager should touch. I'm proud to say that my
current gentoo installation is still the first one, surviving several
world updates and at least 4 years of hacking around, using a lot of
unstable and masked packages.

> > You have a point, though, and I wouldn't mind at all cabal-install
> > being integrated into portage,
> I'm not too familiar with portage, but I think a better solution is to
> provide tools to automatically generate packages for the various
> systems.  How would you specify dependencies on non-haskell components
> in a portable way?
By using portage ;)

Seriously: Gentoo isn't a distribution, but a meta-distribution. It
wouldn't make much sense to support the generation of alien binary
packages, though, as dependency names will surely differ, and if you
have to generate the whole distribution, you can equally well just use
portage to install it.

Regarding non-haskell dependencies: It's already a problem from
distribution to distribution. In portage, you would have to depend on
e.g. either gtk+ or emul-linux-x86-gtklibs (if you want to build 32bit
software...), in debian on gtk-dev. Each distribution would have to make
a list on how cabal's non-haskell dependencies map to their own package
names, which is seriously less work than figuring these out by hand.

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