[Haskell-cafe] Haskell Platform and Leksah on Windows

Manuel Gómez targen at gmail.com
Thu Aug 8 20:03:25 CEST 2013

On Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 12:48 AM, Mihai Maruseac
<mihai.maruseac at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello,
> A friend of mine tried to install Haskell Platform and Leksah on
> Windows and was troubled by the amount of problems he encountered as a
> beginner in this. I've told him to ask over IRC and mailing list but
> it seems he has some problems with registration.
> Anyway, he blogged about his problems at
> http://dorinlazar.ro/haskell-platform-windows-crippled/ and I'm sure
> that we can work on fixing some of them.

I don’t agree with too many of its conclusions and its description of
Cabal is perhaps not up to date with current idioms and recommended
practice —it was, after all, written three years ago—, but this
article[1] did help me understand the relevant issues when I had
similar thoughts.  Specifically, I don’t think it’s a good idea to
rely on the distribution’s package manager for Haskell packages
—mostly a non‐issue in Windows, of course—, so I would disregard that
suggestion; many good reasons for this are spelled out in great detail
in Albert Lai’s SICP[2].

I have no doubt that the complexity of these issues discourages
beginners unfamiliar with Haskell development, having gone through
this myself, but these really are difficult problems with no generally
accepted ideal solution.  Other development environments will happily
install packages with a much higher probability of breaking at
runtime, and the general doctrine of static correctness guarantees
espoused by this community brings only as much complexity as it does
reliability.  A tradeoff, as everything, with the unfortunate
consequence, as always, of bringing discomfort to beginners.  “Avoid
success at all costs”, was it?

[1]: http://ivanmiljenovic.wordpress.com/2010/03/15/repeat-after-me-cabal-is-not-a-package-manager/
[2]: http://www.vex.net/~trebla/haskell/sicp.xhtml

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