[Haskell-cafe] HP + Gtk2hs?

Andrew Coppin andrewcoppin at btinternet.com
Sat Dec 5 10:40:23 EST 2009

So I decided to try out the Haskell Platform instead of just installing 
GHC directly. To be honest, I didn't really notice much difference, 
except for the files being installed in a different place. But then, 
initially HP ~= GHC; presumably the plan is for it to grow as time goes on.

Anyway, I'm sure you can all see where I'm going with this: Latest 
Gtk2hs binary for Windows doesn't seem to like the latest HP installation.

A few things:

- It is unclear to be which Gtk2hs binaries require which GHC version. 
Can we tabulate this information somewhere?

- It is also unclear to me which HP versions contain what stuff. The HP 
page tells you all about the *current* HP version, and contains a link 
to a raw directory listing for the older versions. (I especially love 
the way the server truncates the filenames to just before where the 
version number starts. Very helpful. :-D ) Can we get propper 
descriptions for _all_ releases of HP? A table summarising the GHC 
version and major packages/versions in each release would be nice.

- Any idea why the HP says "beta" on it?

- Apart from HP providing GHC 6.10.4 while Gtk2hs currently requires 
6.10.3, it appears that the Gtk2hs installer package doesn't like GHC 
being installed in a path with spaces. Apparently Gtk2hs has a bug 
tracker. (I only just discovered this, so perhaps it needs to be more 
prominent?) Somebody pointed out this bug 6 months ago. Somebody else 
posted a potential fix a month ago. There is no visible activity from 
the developers. (I emphasize "visible". Maybe they've seen this and 
they're working on it, but there's no visible indication of activity.)

Gtk2hs is currently the *only* GUI binding that actually works on 
Windows. It's always been slightly frustrating that every time a new 
version of GHC comes out, us Windows users have to beg for somebody to 
build a new binary. (Linux users, on the other hand, can just download 
the sources and compile them with any compiler they like.) Presumably 
going forward Gtk2hs will synchronise to the (less frequent) HP releases 
rather than the individual GHC releases, so many this particular 
frustration will be reduced. (It would be even less frustrating if 
Gtk2hs was *in* HP, but I gather this won't ever happen.)

Of course, being able to actually build C bindings on Windows would be 
even better, but this is apparently infeasible... :-( That being the 
case, I'll settle for just a little bit more documentation.

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