[Haskell-cafe] RFC: removing “alternative installation methods” from haskell.org (or finding them owners)

Tom Ellis tom-lists-haskell-cafe-2017 at jaguarpaw.co.uk
Sat Apr 2 18:50:26 UTC 2022

The Haskell.org committee is considering removing the "alternative
installation options" section from the [downloads page of
haskell.org](https://www.haskell.org/downloads/) and we seek the
opinion of the community. If you would like to share your opinion we
prefer that you do so [on the haskell.org issue
but failing that, in this email thread is fine too.

### Background

The [downloads page of
haskell.org](https://www.haskell.org/downloads/) suggests using ghcup
and stack to obtain a toolchain. These two tools are widely used in
the community, actively maintained and kept up-to-date. The page also
provides a number of "alternative installation options" (see below, or
on the page itself, for the list).

The Haskell.org committee does not have the resources to ensure that
these alternative installation options are kept maintained and
confirmed working. We don't even know if anyone uses them. Anyone who
uses them is likely to be an "advanced user" anyway, since they
require more expertise to implement. stack and ghcup presumably work
well on all those platforms, are the most well-maintained installation
options and most suitable for beginners.

### Possibilities

We have a couple of options:

1. Remove all the alternative installation options.
2. Keep (some of) the alternative installation options and find
community volunteers to maintain them. The volunteers will be
responsible for ensuring verifying on a regular basis that their
instructions are still working, submitting timely corrections when
necessary, and responding promptly on the issue tracker to questions
about their installation instructions.

### What we would like from you

* Please share your opinion about removing the alternative
  installation options, especially if you are a user of one of them!
  * If you are willing to maintain an alternative installation option,
  please speak up!

### Current alternative installation options

* Linux Ubuntu (confusing (see
  https://github.com/haskell-infra/www.haskell.org/issues/16) and
  probably outdated)
  * Linux Debian (links to https://downloads.haskell.org/~debian/
  which doesn't support Debian 11 Bullseye)
  * Linux Fedora
  * Linux EPEL for RHEL/CentOS/etc
  * Linux Arch
  * Linux openSUSE Leap
  * Linux openSUSE Tumbleweed
  * Linux Gentoo
  * Windows Chocolatey

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