Ticket #96 (closed defect: fixed)
Webpage should mention dependencies
|Reported by:||Michael Thompson||Owned by:||refold|
I was attempting to explain the installation of Pandoc to some fellow half-wits and realized that http://hackage.haskell.org/platform/ doesn't specify any dependencies for the Windows and Mac installers. On OS X, one for sure needs the XCode tools from the install disk or via http://developer.apple.com/technology/xcode.html I'm not sure if there are any for Windows, or if everything has been taken into account in that case. It seems like common sense that dependencies should be specified right where one clicks on Platform.exe and Platform.dmg since packaging systems are either non-existent or are being by-passed in these cases.
I was going to intervene in one of the disputes on haskell-cafe about what the Platform should contain with the point that everything was focussed on the needs of 'developers', but figured I was too much of a half-wit. (Of course, this is an even less appropriate place to exhibit my half-wittedness, but here goes...) If Hackage is to contain more 'killer apps' like Pandoc, which is surely the earnest desire of every Haskeller, a completely different mindset will be necessary as well. For example, the peculiar licensing of Pandoc was keeping it out of the Platform, quite reasonably, but for it and future *hackage* applications that use it the considerations people mentioned were irrelevant. The killer (Hackage) apps of tomorrow will all need cabal install and the ghc runtime and so on. Maybe there should be plans for something like Haskell-App-Platform which would not be for the sake of developers, but simply something that makes up for the sorry fact that the major end-user OSes *foolishly fail to include a Haskell compiler*, so that installing Haskelly things was hitherto a nightmare, while installing things written in everything else is basically point and click. The far-seeing inventors of the Platform seem to have failed to notice how far they have already taken us toward that paradise. One can see from the pandoc-discuss list that most users aren't Haskellers. For them, the miracle of the Platform is that you can point and click your way to a machine that has cabal install, which massively contracts the dependency nightmare so they can use Haskell devices as black boxes, the way I use Perl and Python devices. The simple point that the OS X installer makes /.cabal/bin and sticks it onto $PATH is in fact *immensely* important from this point of view, though it is a mere convenience from the point of view of developer-types.
yours, Michael Thompson