[Haskell-cafe] Re: Hackage on Linux

Erik de Castro Lopo mle+hs at mega-nerd.com
Fri Aug 27 21:52:41 EDT 2010

Andrew Coppin wrote:

> Windows has more package management facilities than most people realise.
> For example, go install Office 2007. In fact, just install Excel 2007, 
> not the whole thing. Windows Installer can automatically figure out that 
> you *do* need to install the Spell Checker (since Excel uses that), but 
> you do *not* need to install the Grammar Checker (since only Word and 
> PowerPoint use that, and you haven't selected to install those). Not 
> only does it decide what to install, but you can query it 

Thats a specific installer for a specific program.

The whole problem with windows is that every 3rd party program is
responsible for its own installation and removal and is free to 
do that in its own way. It also encourgaes monolithic installers,
installers that include everything.

However, the software you are complaining about is mostly FOSS
software that had its genesis on Linux/Unix and assumes that
build dependencies can be resolved at compile time and that
install dependencies can be resolved at install time. Windows
of course fails these two assumptions completely.

Until something like apt-get becomes popular, widespread and
well supported, you are going to continue to feel pain. I
suggest that you throw you support behind something like


because hoping that Linux and Mac devs will fix windows problems
is not going to get you anywhere.

> I 
> guess it depends on whether you think your students are going into 
> datacenter support (probably Unix) or desktop support or application 
> development (obviously all desktops are Windows).

Do you know the parable of the blind men and the elephant?


Here's a funny thing. I know a large number of professional software
engineers and people who mix that with sys admin work. Only a tiny
fraction of those people write code for the windows platform. Do I
conclude from my data that most developers develop for Linux?

Erik de Castro Lopo

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