unix package

Bryan O'Sullivan bos at serpentine.com
Thu Jun 28 12:25:44 EDT 2007

Bayley, Alistair wrote:

> The unix package isn't available to Windows users. Unsurprising, maybe.
> But, given that it seems to be a layer over the Posix API, would it be
> reasonable to request that the unix package is made available on
> Windows?

I've been thinking about just this, too.

The underlying problem is that Haskell's portable I/O-related libraries 
are underpowered, particularly the stuff in System.Directory.  Try doing 
any significant filesystem-related work using only the portable APIs and 
you'll see what I mean.

A portable library that put a POSIX-like wrapper atop filesystem 
operations would be a big win, particularly if it were distributed as a 
standard library.  This is the approach that Python's standard libraries 
take, and it works well.

If I had a vote on how Ian might spend his time, it would be on 
something like this, which would have direct value to programmers by 
addressing a significant deficit of the current standard libraries. 
Splitting up the unix package seems more like an inconsequential 
janitorial task.  Given finite resources, I'd prefer to tackle the task 
with greater benefits.


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