Debian library packaging? or, how to get a single deb to work for hugs/ghc/nhc?

Martin Sjögren
28 Jan 2003 23:42:22 +0100

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To introduce myself: I'm a Debian developer, and a student at G=F6teborg
University/Chalmers (I've got Haskell in my blood ;)) and I'm currently
considering packaging alex and bnfc.

tis 2003-01-28 klockan 16.34 skrev Isaac Jones:
> Several people have commented that the problems with Haskell libraries
> and compilers are similar to the problems with elisp.  Maybe a
> solution would be to augment hmake with an idea of registering
> packages and {re}compiling them when new / different compilers are
> installed.

I have no idea how backwards compatible ghc is with respect to
libraries. If the ABI changes a lot between releases, that's a problem,
but if it's moderately predictable we can have dependencies on the form
  ghc5 (>=3D X.Y), ghc5 (<< X.Y+1)
I don't see why that won't work. The same is done for Python
compilation, pure python packages use dependencies >=3D 2.2, << 2.3.

> I'm starting to like this idea a lot better than trying to make the
> packages depend on the particular compilers and versions.  I notice
> that the Haskell packages sometimes get out of date, and it would be
> hard to get all the maintainers coordinated enough to release packages
> at the same time a new compiler comes out.

The whole idea with binary distribution is to compile things once and
let others download and install the binary and be done with it.
Compiling Haskell programs of moderate size on a not-very-recent
computer takes quite some time, especially if you want to optimize too,
and will mean a *very slow* installation procedure. That simply is
unacceptable. Byte-compiling, like e.g. Python does is in my experience
a lot faster.


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