new Library Infrastructure spec.

Malcolm Wallace Malcolm.Wallace at
Wed Jun 9 06:03:36 EDT 2004

"S. Alexander Jacobson" <haskell at> writes:

> There are e.g. Win32 installers HDirect and
> HaskellScript.  Who produced them and who is
> intended to use them?

Bob the Builder produced them.  Joe User uses them.

But you are right, there is indeed an intermediate role, the person who
downloads and installs the binary package.  This does not necessarily
involve any building, but still requires a minor degree of knowledge
of the packaging scheme.

However, in Cabal, there are many different possible binary packaging
schemes.  Various people will use RPM, .deb, .msi, apt-get, BSD ports,
and so on.  Essentially, we assume that the person who downloads and
installs one of these formats is competent with their chosen mechanism.
They just use whatever is standard for their platform.  So it seems
fair to characterise that role as Joe User, since we don't really
expect any familiarity with Cabal.  Indeed, such a person does not
(knowingly) use Cabal at all!

However Cabal does address the person who /creates/ an RPM, .msi, etc,
who needs have a documented protocol for building, installing, and
registering Haskell code.  Roland, Willie, etc, embed that knowledge
into the binary package, so the final user, Joe, does not need to
think about it.

> I run GHC on my Windows box and can't
> easily/reliably get C code to compile and produce
> DLLs (both because my C is *very* rusty and
> because I don't have an up-to-date version of all
> the cygwin mingwin blah blah packages).  Yet, I do
> occasionally download and install Haskell
> libraries?  Am I Bob, Peter, Sam, Joe, or perhaps
> someone new?

You are almost certainly Joe, if your ideal world is to download a
.msi InstallShield binary package and press the button.


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