wither the Platform

Heinrich Apfelmus apfelmus at quantentunnel.de
Sun Mar 22 08:47:34 UTC 2015

Mark Lentczner wrote:
> I'm wondering how we are all feeling about the platform these days....
> 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.
> Does this mean that we don't want to consider continuing with it? It is a
> lot of community effort to put out a Platform release - we shouldn't do it
> if we don't really want it.
> That said, I note that the other ways to "officially get" Haskell look, to
> my eye, very ad hoc. Many of the options involve multiple steps, and
> exactly what one is getting isn't clear. It hardly looks like there is now
> an "official, correct" way to setup Haskell.
> The Platform arose in an era before sandboxes and before curated library
> sets like Stackage and LTS. Last time we set direction was several years
> ago. These new features and development have clearly changed the landscape
> for use to reconsider what to do.
> 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.
> Thoughts?

Thanks a lot for your hard work on the platform!

I myself am an avid user of the platform (OS X), because for me, it's 
the easiest way to install Haskell on a new machine; I just did so the 
other day.

The only time when the platform seems to be a handicap is when a new 
version of GHC is being released and I would have to update my packages. 
Usually, I don't test them with the new version and rely on pull 
requests instead.

Best regards,
Heinrich Apfelmus


More information about the Libraries mailing list