[Haskell-cafe] GHC maintenance on Arch

timothyhobbs at seznam.cz timothyhobbs at seznam.cz
Sun Oct 28 21:49:04 CET 2012

Who is in charge of the ghc and haskell packages on Arch linux?  The current
system isn't working.

Arch linux tends to update packages very quickly.

For ghc, always having the latest ghc isn't a good thing.  At least if you 
actually want to get some work done.  A majority of the time the latest GHC 
is unusable. This is because the packages in hackage simply don't keep up.  
With the current ghc version(7.6.1) even some basic packages in hackage are 
not upgraded yet.  

Right now, a large number of other haskell related packages are in the arch 
repos. Other than gtk2hs, I think these packages are pointless duplications.
  In the other cases, it has been my experience that it is simpler to 
maintain these packages through cabal rather than through pacman.  Support 
for these packages in Arch should probably be dropped.

If you want to get work done in Arch with haskell, you should only install 
ghc and cabal-install(right now, you'll have to search the Internet for the 
old binaries, because the arch repos usually don't keep the old versions 
around).  Then you should add these packages to "IgnorePkg =" in pacman.conf
  this way things won't break every couple of months.  You can then choose 
to upgrade when you wish.

I hope that someone who is involved with the haskell Arch stuff reads this. 
 The current model needs to be rethought.  Linux should be sane by default, 
but I've lost many many hours learning that arch's relationship with haskell
is not so :(  Probably the best solution would be to make Arch automatically
keep two versions of ghc around at any given time.

Thank you for your time,
Timothy Hobbs
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