[Haskell-cafe] When did it become so hard to install Haskell onWindows?

Anthony Clayden anthony_clayden at clear.net.nz
Sun Apr 26 00:22:58 UTC 2020

Remember GHC's motto is 'avoid success at all costs'. Then naturally it is
prohibitively difficult to get to use GHC.

For students/people who you want to encourage to love Haskell, especially
on Windows,
I'm astonished you're not using Hugs, especially WinHugs (2-click install).
Despite being over a dozen years unsupported it is still
orders-of-magnitude more friendly than GHC,
 and has plenty of functionality (in Hugsmode) for undergraduate level.
What's more Haskell from the intro texts just works on it;
whereas GHC throws all sorts of obscure advanced type errors.

I don't think powershell is a 'standard tool'. I use mostly Windows
I'm aware of powershell, I've never used it.

Chocolatey is an abhorence. Fortunately I've never had to use it;
I don't know why GHC would inflict it on anybody.

Increasingly, GHC HQ is a cult/elite that doesn't want any new members.
The difficulties in trying to use GHC just show how exclusive it has become.


> I appreciate that these things are standard tools for Windows
developers, but it's worth noting how much harder it can make things
for completely new people (either new developers or new to Windows).

> At the start of the year, I prepared install instructions for university
students who would be using Haskell as part of a first year CS
course. We needed to use GHC 8.6.5 because certain libraries were not
available for GHC 8.8.x (their base upper bounds hadn't updated, which
ruled out haskell-dev), and tried to use Chocolatey as an experiment.

> It was remarkably tough to get students set up on their own machines. I
was planning on recommending the Haskell Platform installer for Semester
2 this year, and am disappointed to find that it no longer exists.

> If it becomes too hard for students to install Haskell on their own
Windows machines, it may become too hard for us to use Haskell as an
educational tool, and I'd consider that a tragedy.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mail.haskell.org/pipermail/haskell-cafe/attachments/20200426/e8d8da5f/attachment.html>

More information about the Haskell-Cafe mailing list