wither the Platform

Francesco Ariis fa-ml at ariis.it
Sun Mar 22 01:01:01 UTC 2015

On Sat, Mar 21, 2015 at 10:54:26AM -0700, Mark Lentczner wrote:
> I'm wondering how we are all feeling about the platform these days....

Thanks for having written this post Mark.

> I notice that in the new Haskell pages, the Platform is definitely not the
> recommended way to go: The main download pages suggests the compiler and
> base libraries as the first option - and the text for the Platform (second
> option) pretty much steers folks away from it. Of the per-OS download
> pages, only the Windows version even mentions it.

I recall trying haskell some years ago, when I was still a Windows user;
the platform was /very/ easy to install, and it served me well in my
first functional steps (namely, going through Learn You a Haskell).

If we compare it with the old Haskell platform [1], the new downloads
section [2] looks more complicated.
The pages for the various OSes are even more intimidating (I don't use
Ubuntu, but my first question would be "What are those commands doing?
Why do I need them?"; same could be said for Win/OSX).

[1] https://www.haskell.org/platform/
[2] https://www.haskell.org/downloads

> I don't think the status quo for the Platform is now viable - mostly as
> evidenced by waning interest in maintaining it. I offer several ways we
> could proceed:
> *1) Abandon the Platform.* GHC is release in source and binary form. Other
> package various installers, with more or less things, for various OSes.
> *2) Slim the Platform.* Pare it back to GHC + base + a smaller set of
> "essential" libs + tools. Keeps a consistent build layout and installation
> mechanism for Haskell.
> *3) Re-conceive the Platform.* Take a very minimal install approach,
> coupled with close integration with a curated library set that makes it
> easy to have a rich canonical, stable environment. This was the core idea
> around my "GPS Haskell" thoughts from last September - but there would be
> much to work out in this direction.

I am not experienced enough to answer this, but whichever action will
be taken, let me say: "think of the children!", i.e. an immediately usable,
easily installable system for those who would like to try Haskell out.

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