[Haskell-cafe] Re: Hackage on Linux

Ivan Lazar Miljenovic ivan.miljenovic at gmail.com
Sun Aug 29 08:05:22 EDT 2010

On 29 August 2010 21:46, Andrew Coppin <andrewcoppin at btinternet.com> wrote:
>> The problems I claim windows has with respect to compiling and
>> installing FOSS:
>>  a) No standard place to find C include files.
>>  b) No standard place to find libraries.
>>  c) No standard way to find if common open source libraries are
>>     installed and where.
> As best as I can tell, the Unix Standard Way(tm) to do this kind of thing is
> to put files into "well known" locations so that they can be easily found.
> (The fact that tools like autoconf need to exist tells you something about
> how tricky this can be.)

No, autoconf has nothing to do with where the "well known" locations
are.  It's having to deal with different versions, etc. of libraries.

> The Windows Standard Way(tm) is to install your
> stuff wherever you like, and then record its location in the Registry.
> Generally this applies more to run-time resources; I'll grant you that
> compile-time resources are more tricky. I think the expectation is that
> you'll use some kind of IDE, configure it to say where the header files and
> so forth are, and it will generate the appropriate command strings to build
> and link everything.

On Unix, most things used shared libraries; in Windows you typically
seem to bundle libraries a lot more often (which then annoys distro
developers when they have to clean up the resulting mess; Firefox is a
prime culprit of this).

> Regardless, you'd think Cabal could provide some way to make it "easy" to
> state where the files it needs actually are. Currently it does not.

Well, it uses ghc-pkg to record where the various libraries, etc. are.
 Otherwise, it could be that none of the Cabal developers are really
that familiar with the "best practices" of developing Windows software
(and clobbering the registry whilst your at it).

By the way, is it possible to have a globally installed library in
Windows (for C, etc.) that can be used no matter which IDE or editor
you use?  Or does each IDE manage all that on its own?

>> Ideally for installing open source libraries the tools used should be
>> the same as the ones used on Linux/Unix where they originated.
> Not all open source libraries originate on Unix. Some of them are actually
> native to Windows. But anyway, that's tangental to this discussion...

Though I know of more libraries that originate and *nix and migrate to
Windows than the other way round...

>>> My "obviously all desktops are Windows" was not meant to be entirely
>>> serious. But it's not exactly a revelation to state that Windows has much
>>> greater penetration in the desktop market than either Linux or indeed Mac
>>> OS.
>> Your assessment is valid for user desktops but highly questionable
>> for developer desktops.
> I can go along with that.

After all, who cares about users? :p

Ivan Lazar Miljenovic
Ivan.Miljenovic at gmail.com

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