[Haskell-cafe] Confusions about the Haskell Platform (for Mac)

Don Stewart dons at galois.com
Sat Apr 17 19:46:01 EDT 2010

> 2. What is the difference between "Haskell" and the "Haskell Platform"? I see
> one or the other in various places. To get from www.haskell.org to downloading
> the Mac software, I go through "Download Haskell," "Get the Haskell Platform >
> Mac," and "Download Haskell for Mac OS X (intel)."

Well, for one, we have characterized the difference between GHC and the
Haskell Platform as:

    GHC is to the HP  as  Linux Kernel is to Linux

Now, "Haskell" for newcomers might mean "toolchain on my machine" --
which is the Haskell Platform. Or it might mean the language.

We try to ensure advertising for the HP makes it simple: "Download
Haskell", but documentation pages carefully describe the fact that the
HP is a development environment for the Haskell language.

> 3. By looking at http://hackage.haskell.org/platform/mac.html , I have no idea
> what I'm going to get when I click the "Download Haskell for Mac OS X (intel)"
> link. It would be nice to know what I'm getting myself into before I commit to
> waiting for this 137.9 MB file. Thanks to the wonder of deep links, one can
> also not be expected to traverse the path that I did in #2. Similarly, if I
> come to this link directly, I have no easy way of navigating to try to figure
> out what "Haskell" or "GHC" is.

That's a bug. I've filed a ticket to fix the website.

-- Don

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