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Re: [Haskell-cafe] Re: Haskell-friendly Linux Distribution

Subject: Re: [Haskell-cafe] Re: Haskell-friendly Linux Distribution
From: Jason Dagit
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2010 19:55:06 -0700


On Sun, Mar 28, 2010 at 4:53 AM, Joachim Breitner <nomeata@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Hi,

Am Sonntag, den 28.03.2010, 09:04 +0100 schrieb Magnus Therning:
> I have to say it looks like Debian has gotten their act together
> somewhat when it comes to Haskel development.  Many of the reasons for
> my deserting Debian seem have been taken care of.

so, what is missing for you to come back :-)

The reason I started telling everyone to avoid GHC in apt was the way it was packaged.  Casual Haskell users would install GHC but get something like 1/10th of the libraries GHC installs when you do a source install and none of the profiled libraries.  Everything seems fine and working.  A few days later, this casual user tries to build something and cannot find the libraries they need.  Usually they would struggle to find them and when when they did find out where to get them the answer was often, "It should have come with ghc".  They're baffled.  If they are lucky they figure out which apt package to install.  Now fast forward a few weeks.  This casual user is now trying to profile something, oh wait, some problem again.  If it had been an install from the ghc source then only additional packages on hackage would need to be hunted down and installed.

Basically, it was a monumental headache for casual users to hunt down the full package list to reconstruct what you'd get from the source install.  So, at some point, I just started telling all my friends to avoid the ghc in apt and go straight for the tarballs from GHC HQ.  This advice seemed to save a lot of head scratching later.

To me, until there is one obvious package to install to get the same set of files as a normal ghc install I will continue to discourage people from getting ghc from apt :)  I've heard virtual packages could be used to fix the problem.  That would be nice as long as the virtual package is easy to find and the name tips people off that it's the GHC they really want.

I hope you find my feedback useful :)

Jason
PS It's been several years since I checked on GHC in debian, maybe my concerns have already been addressed.
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