Special Invitation :-) HC&A Report (November 2003) (fwd)

Simon Peyton-Jones simonpj at microsoft.com
Tue Oct 28 13:08:26 EST 2003

Good.  I hope Isaac will do a write up of his own.  

Re the "improved package mechanism", perhaps add a URL?



| -----Original Message-----
| From: libraries-bounces at haskell.org
[mailto:libraries-bounces at haskell.org] On Behalf Of Malcolm
| Wallace
| Sent: 28 October 2003 11:12
| To: libraries at haskell.org
| Subject: Re: Special Invitation :-) HC&A Report (November 2003) (fwd)
| "C.Reinke" <C.Reinke at kent.ac.uk> writes:
| > That includes individual libraries, developments in the hierarchical
| > libraries (Simon M., the usual contact for this, is away;), as well
| > as the discussions (Haskell WS & after) about library
| > infrastructure, and your conclusions and plans. In short, anything
| > interesting that happened on this list but may not have reached the
| > general Haskeller yet.
| Since Simon is away, I thought I would attempt to write a general
| introduction to the meta-activity in the libraries area (see below).
| However, rather than usurp his title by stealth, I am posting my
| summary to the libraries list so that anyone can edit/improve it.
| Please feel free to write a better summary and submit it to Claus!
| (And individuals who have been proposing infrastructural things
| might want to add a few more paragraphs of detail on their own
| contributions.)
| Regards,
|     Malcolm
| ----
| HC&A Report - Hierarchical libraries
| Apart from actually writing libraries that do stuff, recent
| meta-activity in the libraries community has concentrated on plans for
| making libraries easier to install, to distribute, to maintain, and
| therefore also easier to write and contribute to Haskellers at large.
| Isaac Jones <ijones at syntaxpolice.org> has been leading the effort in
| bringing together a proposal for a common distribution/installation
| mechanism.  The aim is for a general framework that can be re-used
| by anyone wanting to contribute a library, so that they can be sure
| it will work uniformly across all the compilers/interpreters without
| too much effort.  It covers such areas as automated configure/build,
| library registration, dependencies on other library packages, and
| automatic re-installation when a compiler version is updated.
| Meanwhile, the two Simons at GHC-HQ have been proposing an improved
| 'package' mechanism for the compilers/interpreters themselves.
| This proposal aims to create a more flexible 'backend' for library
| usage, such that libraries can be re-located within the hierarchy,
| and different versions of a library can co-exist together.
| In other recent news, the common 'base' package of libraries has
| recently been subdivided to separate off non-core functionality,
| the core more stable, whilst enabling independent evolution of the
| other libraries.  The split-off packages include parsec, QuickCheck,
| and the monad transformers.  Other packages resident in the
| CVS tree include OpenGL, GLUT, HaXml, Japi (Java API), ObjectIO,
| Win32, X11, HGL (Haskell Graphics Library), haskell-src, network,
| readline, and unix.
| ----
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