[Haskell-cafe] Unix emulation

Andrew Coppin andrewcoppin at btinternet.com
Sun Aug 22 05:46:52 EDT 2010

gdweber at iue.edu wrote:
> I will try my hand at building a Windows binary for Sifflet
> and making it available for folks to download.

I too was going to have a go at this. I had a Windows VM (so I don't 
ruin my *real* Windows box) and I was going to set up all the junk which 
is apparently necessary to make C bindings build. And then I was going 
to build all the libraries I want but can't have, package them up into 
nice little installers with NSIS, and make the binary installers 
available for each version of the Haskell Platform.

But, as I say, I utterly failed to make MinGW and MSYS actually work. I 
never got as far as installing HP at all!

> I have recently acquired a Windows 7 system, partly for this very purpose.
> It's a guest host under Linux/KVM, and I think it's 32-bit Windows
> so it'll be a 32-bit binary, although my hardware is x86_64.
> Will that be okay?

Better than nothing, I'd imagine. In fact, I'm not actually sure whether 
there *is* a 64-bit edition of GHC itself... Anybody know?

> I haven't done *anything* with Haskell on Windows yet!
> So the first step will be installing the Haskell Platform,
> which I hope will go smoothly, but the rest might take some
> time, if I succeed at all.

HP installs under Windows just fine from what I've seen. I know GHC used 
to have an issue where only the current user's search path is updated, 
not the global one; I haven't tested whether HP does this. (Makes it fun 
if you have to log in as admin to install things; then only admin can 
run GHC!)

I was surprised and pleased to discover that HP now contains zlib. (And 
it works!) I was surprised and disappointed to discover that they're 
planning to remote OpenGL support from HP. Presumably it's impossible to 
build from source if you want it, so there goes the end of that!

Until now, I've held off using HP because Gtk2hs won't work with it. 
With the new Cabalised, Windows-buildable Gtk2hs, I believe this is no 
longer an issue. So maybe I'll finally update my main work machine to HP.

> Other options seem to be:
> -   Asking for curl and hxt to be included in the Haskell Platform
> -   Asking the author of hxt to split it into parts that do and do not
>     depend on curl.
> But either of these would also probably take some time, if they
> are approved at all.

Just including Curl in HP would presumably fix the problem. (I have a 
vague recollection that the Hackage Darcs package secretly requires 
libcurl, but doesn't actually depend on the Haskell "curl" package...) 
It's probably generally useful enough that it could be considered.

Alternatively, make it possible to build C bindings on Windows. Yeah, 
don't hold your breath!

> So, don't hold your breath, Andrew, but I'll try.

Good luck... ;-)

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