[Haskell-cafe] XCode Dependency for HP on Mac

Manuel M T Chakravarty chak at cse.unsw.edu.au
Mon Aug 1 04:22:28 CEST 2011

In addition to the excellent reasons that Mark outlined, there is another important reason to *not* include gcc and friends in the HP.  Every software developer (as opposed to friend of a friend who just wanted to try to learn programming with Haskell on a road trip) will already have Xcode installed on their Mac.

Having two versions of gcc, make, lots of other tools, library headers, library objects, etc is going to lead to subtle bugs and headaches; at the latest, when you compile your first multi-language project.  (This is where this is not comparable to the situation on Windows with mingw.  A software developer on Windows, will have Visual Studio installed, but usually not some flavour of the GNU tools.)


PS: I am sure there is demand for a self-contained, lightweight beginners/teaching Haskell environment, but let's not confuse that with the main distribution.

Mark Lentczner:
> Hiho - I'm the maintainer of the Mac installer for HP. I thought I'd
> chime in a bit:
> On Mac OS X, "developer tools" is essentially synonymous with "Xcode".
> That is, to get the set of standard utilities needed for development
> on compiled executables (notably the "binutils"), you install Xcode.
> True, it also includes the IDE called Xcode, but the vast bulk of that
> installation are things like headers, link libraries, command line
> tools, and other utilities for development of compiled executables in
> general.
> As several have pointed out, you can download Xcode for free. If you
> have Lion, you can get Xcode 4 for free from the Mac Store. Xcode 3
> for 10.6 and 10.5. Traditionally, Apple has included Xcode on one of
> the CD-ROMs that came with a new computer, and/or as an installer
> already present on the hard disk. (I haven't bought a new Air...
> yet... but perhaps someone can check to see if the Xcode installer is
> one the SSD volume already?)
> It is conceivably possible to build and distribute some of those
> tools, but not the whole bundle. But the difficulty of getting such a
> build just right, and all the pieces in the right place, seems absurd
> to attempt to recreate when Apple has done it, and gives it away for
> free. Apple's versions of bintools also includes many extensions extra
> options for the OS X environment (like supporting multi-arch binaries)
> Finally, there is also licensing questions regarding the parts
> supplied by the OS vendor (headers, stub libs, debug libs, etc....)
> Given the above, perhaps it is a little more clear why we choose to
> not include the system development tools in the Haskell Platform
> installer.
> - Mark
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