[Haskell-cafe] Minimal Haskell Platform

Simon Hengel sol at typeful.net
Tue Apr 15 10:11:13 UTC 2014

On Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 11:45:22AM +0300, Roman Cheplyaka wrote:
> * Simon Hengel <sol at typeful.net> [2014-04-15 13:02:38+0800]
> > > Would it be worthwhile to create a "Minimal Haskell Platform" to
> > > create a truly common platform that everybody would be happy using?
> > 
> > I think most Haskell developers use a reasonably recent version of GHC
> > (that would currently still be 7.6.3 for me) and the latest version of
> > cabal-install.  Everything else can be installed with cabal-install.
> > 
> > So yes, I think we should just have an easy way to get that minimal
> > setup (+ most importantly don't recommend something to beginners that we
> > don't use ourself).
> > 
> > Where would something like the HP actually make sense?  For stuff that
> > has external dependencies that are not easily  installable with
> > cabal-install (like curses bindings, SSL support, etc.).  We have none
> > of this in the HP.  So I think currently we just have additional costs,
> > but no benefits (+ we harm innovation by arbitrarily "endorsing" random
> > packages).
> Agreed.
> As Tillmann notes, HP is indispensable on Windows, but that is a side effect.
> Indeed, HP as a simple way to conveniently install the bits that are otherwise
> hard to install makes perfect sense.

When looking at `network` specifically, I think it does not even have
external dependencies, it just needs a C compiler and GNU autotools. So
if we care about Windows support, couldn't we just bundle MingGW with a
minimalistic GHC + cabal-install distribution.  That would not only
solve the network case, but also work for other packages that include
some C files in the cabal package or need autotools for whatever reason.


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