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

Michal J Gajda mgajda at mimuw.edu.pl
Mon May 11 14:51:20 UTC 2020

I recently installed GHC using Chocolatey, since an user requested
Windows support.
I understand that the new installation mode allows to use package manager
on the platform that lacks native package manager support.

It took me approximately an hour in total, since the process of
compiling a Haskell program required:
1. To install and find powershell, and run it as administrator. (If
you try to install Chocolatey as non-admin user you get a long error
2. To use powershell console to change some default Chocolatey options
so that it does not stop each time that configuration change is
3. To enter relevant command line in admin PowerShell so that
Chocolatey installs GHC.
4. Ditto for Mingw (3 attempts, since I think default Mingw package
lacks full build environment.)
4. Ditto for every dependency of my Haskell package. (Is there a way
to get standardized library dependencies across the platforms? Drop me
a line if it is at all possible without Nix.)
5. Installing Haskell Stack, since I gave up making it work with Cabal
install+chocolatey at this point.
6. Building everything with Haskell stack in powershell to acquire
environment settings that expose the dependent libraries.

Maybe we need a wizard app that takes us through the process?
I am certain that part of the pain was due to the fact that I rarely
use Windows platform.

Did we diverge so far from Windows, because everybody moved to the
cloud-based Linux builds?
I guess, if not for using Stack, I was about half-way to get install
process running.
I wonder how to support Windows build environment best.
Is there maybe Ansible setup script for barebones Windows environment?

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