[Haskell-cafe] Cabal failures...

Clark Gaebel cgaebel at uwaterloo.ca
Wed Nov 21 03:21:38 CET 2012

+1 to this. The friction of finding, setting up, and using Windows isn't
even comparable to just sshing into another unix box and testing something

As a university student, I also find it relatively rare that I get to test
on a Windows machine. My personal computer runs linux, my technical friends
run linux or osx, and my non-technical ones run osx. Also, all the school
servers that I have access to run either FreeBSD or Linux.

If I want to run something on linux system, I have about 40 different
computers that I can ssh into and run code on.

If I want to run something on osx, I just have to call a friend and ask if
they can turn on their computer and allow me to ssh in (to my own account,
of course).

If I want to run something on Windows, I have to track down a friend (in
person!), ask to borrow their computer for a few hours, get administrator
access to install the Haskell Platform, get frustrated that HP hasn't been
upgraded to 7.6, and give up.

It's just not practical, especially for the large amount of small (<500
LOC) packages on Hackage.

  - Clark

On Tue, Nov 20, 2012 at 9:05 PM, Erik de Castro Lopo
<mle+hs at mega-nerd.com>wrote:

> Albert Y. C. Lai wrote:
> > Clearly, since >90% of computers have Windows, it should be trivial to
> > find one to test on, if a programmer wants to. Surely every programmer
> > is surrounded by Windows-using family and friends? (Perhaps to the
> > programmer's dismay, too, because the perpetual "I've got a virus again,
> > can you help?" is so annoying?) We are not talking about BeOS.
> >
> > Therefore, if programmers do not test on Windows, it is because they do
> > not want to.
> I have been an open source contributor for over 15 years. All the general
> purpose machines in my house run Linux. My father's and my mother-in-law's
> computers also run Linux (easier for me to provide support). For testing
> software, I have a PowerPC machine and virtual machines running various
> versions of Linux, FreeBSD and OpenBSD.
> What I don't have is a windows machine. I have, at numerous times, spent
> considerable amounts of time (and even real money for licenses) setting
> up (or rather trying to) windows in a VM and it is *always* considerably
> more work to set up, maintain and fix when something goes wrong. Setting
> up development tools is also a huge pain in the ass. And sooner or later
> they fail in some way I can't fix and I have to start again. Often its
> not worth the effort.
> At my day job we have on-demand windows VMs, but I am not officially
> allowed (nor do I intend to start) to use those resources for my open
> source work.
> So is it difficult for an open source contributor to test on windows?
> Hell yes! You have no idea how hard windows is in comparison to say
> FreeBSD. Even Apple's OS X is easier than windows, because I have
> friends who can give me SSH access to their machines.
> Erik
> --
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Erik de Castro Lopo
> http://www.mega-nerd.com/
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