[Haskell-cafe] Dynamic package information with Setup.hs

Carter Schonwald carter.schonwald at gmail.com
Thu Nov 21 21:58:09 UTC 2013

you should look at libs that have c libs embedded in them approach it. a
good simple example would be lz4hs.  Its really quite simple and doesn't
require crazy hacks

On Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 4:25 PM, Thiago Padilha <tpadilha84 at gmail.com>wrote:

> On Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 5:10 PM, Peter Simons <simons at cryp.to> wrote:
> > You can distribute a shell script that tries to build the C library and
> > the Haskell library with convenient defaults, i.e. your script should
> > call
> >
> >   cabal configure --extra-include-dirs=PATH --extra-lib-dirs=PATH
> >
> > with appropriate paths after having built the C code, but please make
> > sure that your Haskell package works fine for people who want to build
> > the C library themselves without using your script.
>   Peter,
>   My reason for taking this route is to simplify the installation by
> making the
> C library a transparent part of the package. This is similar to the haskell
> bindings to zlib( the difference is that it bundles zlib source code in the
> 'cbits' directory since zlib build is simple everything just works).
>   This is common in package managers for other platforms(node.js,
> python) as it simplifies installation by users that have little experience
> with
> building C packages.
>   The goal is to have a generic Setup.hs file that I can use for packaging
> haskell bindings to libraries that have non-trivial build procedures, and
> still
> have everything working after a simple 'cabal install LIB'
>   With that said, I agree that allowing customization by advanced users is
> essential. Like you suggested, I already use the 'extra-libraries' field
> without
> specifying extra-lib-dirs/include-dirs.
>   I still would like to follow the automatic build route with the following
> changes:
>   - The Setup.hs file will only invoke the download/build script if the
>     --extra-lib-dirs/--include-dirs weren't passed to cabal(I believe the
> Args
>     argument for the preConf hook is suitable for that)
>   - An additional flag could be provided for users wanting to build
> against the
>     system's version of the library.
>   This should hide the installation details by providing reasonable
> defaults
> (like a library version that is guaranteed to work with the binding) while
> still
> giving full control to advanced users.
>   What do you think?
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