[Haskell-cafe] GHC maintenance on Arch

Fabio Riga rifabio at gmail.com
Tue Oct 30 00:11:27 CET 2012

2012/10/29  <timothyhobbs at seznam.cz>:
> To be clear, the project ArchHaskell has little or no relation to my
> original post.  If I understand correctly, ArchHaskell is a set of Arch uses
> who attempted to repackage the packages in hackage in the AUR.
Not exactly. ArchHaskell try to keep an ArchLinux repository of
Haskell package without the dependency mess that pop out from using
cabal install.

> addresses issues of package management that are unrelated to my complaint.
> My complaint is that Arch currently does not support having two versions of
> GHC installed and GHC does not support backwards compatibility.  The current
> method of always updating GHC to the latest version, discarding the old
> version is useful to the most hard core bleeding edge types.  An alternative
> model for those of us that need a consistently usable system is not well
> supported.  Currently updating ghc the "normal way" always breaks your build
> system.  Arch has addressed this issue with a number of other packages.
> Perhaps the best comparison would be
> ghc<https://www.archlinux.org/packages/extra/x86_64/ghc/> verse
> linux<https://www.archlinux.org/packages/core/i686/linux/>.  With linux, we
> have a "linux" package and a
> "linux-lts<https://www.archlinux.org/packages/core/x86_64/linux-lts/>"
> package.  These are the same, but linux-lts gets updated slightly less often
> and with less expedition.  This problem has been had in Arch, it's been
> solved, and we should take the example of these other cases I have provided
> and make two ghc packages, so that there is a standard supported sane way to
> use ghc on arch linux.  This isn't a problem that affects me personally
> these days. As an advanced user I don't really have any trouble working
> around the issue.  But I'd like Arch to be inviting to newbies and to have
> what most of us more experienced users implement manually by default.

I think ArchLinux is about bleeding edge types. It is normal for Arch
to have the latest stable version available in repository. And ghc is
not the kernel. For example Arch has ruby-1.9, while many other
distros still use 1.8. But if you do need ghc-7.4 and you don't want
to deal with upgrades of every Haskell library you use, you can always
install haskell-platform and use cabal for the needed libraries. But
when you'll want to update to the next haskell-platform version (or
whatever you define as "stable"), you'll have to remove and reinstall
everything. Having Arch packages makes this process smoother.


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