[Haskell-cafe] Re: 1,000 packages, so let's build a few!

Don Stewart dons at galois.com
Mon Feb 2 17:03:44 EST 2009

> Hi
> > So actually just having more Windows users subscribed to cabal-devel and
> > commenting on tickets would be very useful, even if you do not have much
> > time for hacking.
> I believe that as soon as a Windows user starts doing that you'll
> start asking them for patches :-)
> There are a number of reasons that we have fewer Windows developers:
> * Some of it comes down to social reasons - for some reason it seems
> to be socially acceptable to belittle Windows (and Windows users) on
> the Haskell mailing lists and #haskell.
> * Some of it comes down to technical issues - for example not having
> cabal.exe bundled with GHC 6.10.1 on Windows was a massive mistake
> (although I've heard everyone argue against me, I've not yet heard a
> Windows person argue against me).
> * Part of it comes down to most developers not being Windows people.
> * A little is because Windows is a second class citizen even in the
> libraries, my OS is NOT mingw32 - mingw32 is not even an OS, its a
> badly typed expression! How would you like it if your OS was listed as
> Wine? Things like this tell me that Haskell isn't Windows friendly, at
> best its windows tolerant.
> * Things like Gtk2hs, which Windows users need building for them,
> don't release in sync with GHC, which makes it hard to use.
> * Windows machines don't usually have a C compiler, and have a very
> different environment - while the rest of the world is starting to
> standardise.
> I gave up on fighting the fight when people decided not to bundle
> cabal.exe with Windows - and now I'm too busy with my day job... Now
> I'd say Duncan is the most vocal and practical Windows developer, even
> overlooking the fact he doesn't run Windows.

GHC doesn't  bundle with cabal-install on any system.

What is needed is not for the GHC team to be doing Windows platform
packages, but for the Windows Haskell devs to build their own system, as
happens on all the Unices.

Take GHC's release, wrap it up with native installers, throw in useful
libraries and executables like cabal. Done.

It's not the GHC compiler team's job to build distro-specific bundles. 

So, windows at haskell.org anyone? Get the wiki going, get the set of tasks

-- Don

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