[Haskell-cafe] My experience setting up Haskell up for GUI development

Neil Mitchell ndmitchell at gmail.com
Sun May 18 14:35:41 EDT 2008


> A Google search pointed me at two major GUI toolkits for Haskell: gtk2hs and
> wxHaskell.

My answer is to use Gtk2hs. Unfortunately, the releases are somewhat
behind so you usually need to grab a special preview release to get it
working on Windows. That's a very sad state of affairs, and as is easy
to tell from this email, it gives the impression that Gtk2hs is busted
on Windows. The *only* way to fix this is to have Gtk2hs builds go
live within minutes of a GHC release going live - and I've been
pushing for that for a while (but tend to give up once my computer is

Hopefully Duncan will know if your problem is due to using an old
installer, or just a Vista thing - either way its a safe bet that
Duncan will fix it in due course.

> So, in practice, do other people write GUI apps with Haskell on Windows? And
> if they do, how do they do it? I feel I've got to the stage where I need a
> concrete recommendation from the experts.

Typically you need to use GHC and not GHCi - or at least you get more
success that way. If the installation instructions for wxHaskell need
improving, do tell the team behind it. wxHaskell was unmaintained for
a while, so they are still picking up speed, getting the basics
working - before tackling the polish issues.

As a reference point, I still do all my GUI programming in C# -
although am slowly taking pot shots at Haskell/Gtk2hs as new things
crop up. Although I suspect I'm likely to try F# for GUI programming
with my next project.



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