[Haskell-cafe] Minimal Haskell Platform

Johan Holmquist holmisen at gmail.com
Wed Apr 16 04:52:38 UTC 2014

I strongly believe we need the HP to be able to compete with Python etc
with "batteries included". Having a set of blessed packages with stable
APIs makes development easier, so the HP is a very important part of the
Haskell eco system IMHO.

Having graphics packages in the platform does make it a bit wierd to
install on servers which are typically not equipped with OpenGL etc.


2014-04-16 4:28 GMT+02:00 Simon Hengel <sol at typeful.net>:

> > >and I have a somewhat cunning plan along these lines (related to some
> > >other ghc-pkg/cabal improvement work) which might make that rather
> > >easier
> > >
> > >what I want is for ghc itself to come with multiple profiles, with one
> > >being the minimum (base + rts + deps), and that could be used as a basis
> > >for new envs
> >
> > With such a feature, it sounds like we can get the best of both worlds:
> > * a feature-rich Haskell Platform to support beginners
> > * minimal sandboxes for advanced users
> The issue with such integrated approaches that affect the whole
> toolchain (ghc, cabal, etc.) is that this can seriously harm innovation,
> at least if the net result is that it gets harder and harder to write
> alternative package managers, etc.
> TL;DR: If anything, we should make things *less integrated* (read more
> open and hackable).
> Let me try to make my point by looking at Haddock.  Let's assume you are
> not happy with the current state of Haskell documentation tools.  In
> such a situation it can makes perfect sense to give it a fresh start.
> But Haddock is so integrated with GHC, Hackage, Cabal,...  that this is
> very hard to do.  You can write an alternate documentation tool, but it
> may be hard for potential uses to experiment with it.  Currently I think
> the only feasible way to get your changes in or experiment with new
> ideas is through the current maintainer, and if the current maintainer
> thinks your approach is a bad idea or just does not like you or does not
> have the time to look at your code you may be in a situation where it's
> hard to improve things.  There is a lack of competition and I think it
> is not something absurd to assume that this lack of competition results
> in a lack of innovation.
> > >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).
> >
> > I understand this point of view, but allow me to offer an opposing one.
> > By putting packages with external dependencies into Haskell Platform, we
> > often increase the dependencies of Haskell Platform itself.  For example,
> > Haskell Platform currently includes Graphics packages; installing Haskell
> > Platform on a server entails installing a number of OpenGL libraries that
> > are never used.
> My point here was that (from my perspective) the cost/benefit ratio of
> bundling packages that are easily installable with cabal-install is
> negative.
> Cheers,
> Simon
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