[Haskell-cafe] Hackage and HaXml situation

John Goerzen jgoerzen at complete.org
Thu Sep 18 16:32:31 EDT 2008

Hi everyone,

We've got a bit of a problem in the community regarding HaXml.  This has
been brought up before, but never definitively resolved, and it's
causing more and more trouble.

Over at the HaXml homepage [1], it is stated that 1.13.3 is the most
recent stable version of HaXml.  I believe that Malcolm Wallace, HaXml
maintainer, has confirmed this.

Over at the HaXml hackage page [2], it would appear as if 1.19.4 is the
most recent stable version of HaXml.  There is no provision made to mark
some versions as unstable, and to make 1.13.3 the default version
downloaded from Hackage.

There are API incompatibilities between 1.13.3 and 1.19.4 that make it
impossible for my programs to support both.

This is becoming a larger and more fragmenting problem.  Arch Linux
looked at the Hackage package and bundled up 1.19.4.  Debian looked at
the HaXml website and bundles 1.13.3.  So we have a situation where I
can write software that builds easily with one or the other, but not both.

We really need a fix for this.  Some things we could do would be:

1) Make a policy that Hackage is for the "most stable branch" of
software only, and remove the 1.19.x series of HaXml.

2) Malcolm could decide to bless 1.19.x as stable, fixing the instant
problem, but this would still leave the problem open for the future.

3) Add support to Hackage for labeling branches, and present the stable
versions by default.


[1] http://www.cs.york.ac.uk/fp/HaXml/
[2] http://hackage.haskell.org/cgi-bin/hackage-scripts/package/HaXml

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