[Haskell-cafe] I still cannot seem to get a GUI working under Windows.

Andrew Coppin andrewcoppin at btinternet.com
Wed Sep 29 17:02:02 EDT 2010

  On 29/09/2010 07:33 PM, Steve Schafer wrote:
> The issue isn't that there aren't a lot of Windows developers who have
> an interest in Haskell+GUI development. The issue is that nearly every
> Windows developer who looks into Haskell+GUI says, "This stuff sucks,"
> and walks away, because they're interested in developing applications,
> not wrestling with GUI toolkits.

Yep, that's the one.

If you want to build a GUI application in Tcl, it's going to take a 
couple of minutes to throw together some Tk commands and you're done. In 
Java, you'll have to write a mile of boilerplate, but there are wizzy 
tools that will write it for you. And I gather that if you've coding in 
C or C++ or C#, you can use VisualStudio to throw a complex GUI together 
in a couple of minutes.

How do you do that in Haskell? Well, you can either install and 
configure a complete Unix emulator and then compile wxHaskell from 
source (?!), or you can use Gtk2hs, which still requires you to manually 
install and configure GTK+ and compile the entire library from source 
code. And even then, your developed application will only run on Windows 
boxes that have GTK+ installed (i.e., none of them). All of which is a 
far cry from "install IDE, click some buttons, run the wizzard, job done".

Then again, let us not claim that this is only a problem for GUI stuff. 
If you want to access a database, or run compression algorithms, or play 
sound, or do absolutely anything else which requires talking to C-land, 
you've going to have to face a world of pain on Windows.

It seems that because this stuff is such a PITA on Windows, nobody uses 
Haskell on Windows. And since nobody uses Haskell on Windows, nobody is 
fixing these problems. So they just stay here, forever.

So anyway, that's the problem. The solution is...

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