[Haskell-cafe] Windows Build Boxes (was Cabal failures...)

Gershom Bazerman gershomb at gmail.com
Wed Nov 21 03:55:21 CET 2012

If some person or group of people is willing to administer and maintain 
windows build/testing boxes for the good of the Haskell community 
(perhaps even just for core infrastructure and an extended set of 
"blessed" libraries), I would be willing to contribute a decent sum to 
the procurement of these machines. I'm sure I am far from alone in this. 
It would be a very good use of our community resources to co-ordinate 
such efforts.


On 11/20/12 9:21 PM, Clark Gaebel wrote:
> +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 quickly.
> 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 <mailto: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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