Advance notice that I'd like to make Cabal depend on parsec

Duncan Coutts duncan.coutts at
Mon Mar 18 13:27:14 CET 2013

On Sun, 2013-03-17 at 21:04 +0100, Henning Thielemann wrote:
> On Sun, 17 Mar 2013, Ian Lynagh wrote:
> > I think it would be feasible to stop GHC itself from using the human
> > readable format. The only place I can think of it being used is in the
> > package database, but we could use either Read/Show for that, or just
> > exclusively use the binary format.
> I already needed the human readable format in order to check what 
> information a custom configure file generated.

Or more generally, the classic way to make the pkg info if you were not
using the "simple" cabal build system, but were using configure + make
(e.g. wrapped in the cabal "make" build-type) was to generate the input
file using configure/m4 text substitutions. So that did/does need to be
human readable.

As for the binary format, that's ghc's internal representation and not
something I think we would want to standardise between Haskell
implementations. Note that other Haskell impls use a package database
that just uses these human readable files, with no hc-pkg style program.


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