[Haskell-cafe] Fun with Darcs

Andrew Coppin andrewcoppin at btinternet.com
Wed May 14 16:49:32 EDT 2008

David Roundy wrote:
> On Wed, May 14, 2008 at 08:37:53PM +0100, Andrew Coppin wrote:
>> Andrew Coppin wrote:
>> I've recently reinstalled Windows, so I decided to go download the 
>> latest Darcs and set that up. Now it's complaining that I don't have 
>> curl or wget. (Never used to do that before.) The WindowsConfiguration 
>> file doesn't mention anything about it. [And the link back to the Darcs 
>> wiki is 404 by the way. "darcs.net" rather than "wiki.darcs.net". Nice 
>> touch...] Presumably this change is new in Darcs 2. I don't recall 
>> seeing anything about it when I read the announcement, and I'm now 
>> searching the wiki and I still don't see anything about it.
>> Presumably I just need to discover a Windows binary for wget and put it 
>> in my search path somewhere? Would be nice if this were documented... 
>> Darcs used to just work by itself without any additional tools.
> It's just that the guy who built the windows binary didn't have libcurl
> installed.  Since there don't seem to be many windows developers, we have
> to live with those few people willing to compile darcs on windows...

Well, it seems that simply adding wget.exe to my search path did in fact 
fix the issue. It hasn't hard to find with Google, but a small note to 
that effect somewhere in the documentation would be quite nice.

Seriously, you have literally *no idea* how much trouble I've just had 
trying to achieve the simple task of getting Leksah to work. Every 
imaginable thing has gone wrong. Each impediment is fairly trivial in 
itself, but the sheer volume of them is... straining my patience!

- Darcs now needs wget in order to work. [Easy to fix once you work out 
- Leksah needs Gtk2hs, but I have GHC 6.8.2. [Thank the Maker for gname 
- I've have never found the URL for the unofficial Gtk2hs build to fix 
- Leksah needs something called "binary". [Once you figure out that 
that's a package and you're supposed to get it from Hackage, it's quite 
easy to find. Figuring out what to do with a tarball on Windows isn't 
that amusing. However, for once, Cabal did actually build and install it 
without issue.]
- When I try to install Leksah, it complains that a PNG file doesn't 
exist. [My guess is the author's Darcs repo contains it, but they forgot 
to tell Darcs.] So I _manually edit_ the Cabal file. [Eeek!] Obviously 
Cabal now makes me reconfigure and rebuild, but the program now installs 
just fine.
- Gee, now I wonder *where* exactly Cabal installed it? Oh well, it 
seems to have put the binary in my search path anyway - that's a nice 
touch. Now, let's see what this IDE actually looks li-- oh you have GOT 
to be KIDDING me! It can't find the right GTK DLL?!?

By now, I've been trying to "try out Leksah" for about an hour. As you 
can see, each problem is pretty small [although the "manually edit Cabal 
file" bit was scary]. However, add together enough small problems and 
you end up with a very frustrating experience. When it takes you 10 
minutes or so to fix each problem, 6 small problems = 1 hour of your 
life. It adds up rather fast. :-(

At this point, my best guess is that the unofficial Gtk2hs binary is 
broken somehow. [Although I don't recall hearing anybody yelling about 
it...] Maybe tomorrow I'll try again on my other box that has an older 
GHC on it and see how that goes. For tonight, I'm just too frustrated to 

[I hope nobody takes my frustration *too* seriously. I'm just a little 
bit exasperated right now. I'll get over it. By tomorrow, this will 
probably seem very amusing... but right now it's quite late, and I'm 

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