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Re: How do people manage cabal vs deb packages?

In my experience, installing things outside the packaging system always leads to pain in the long term. I don't specifically mean Debian and haskell packages either.

So I generally use cabal-debian to generate debs and then install those. (Obviously, I don't make sure the synopsis, etc, are up to Debian standards). If a package requires too many other packages that I don't have installed -- then I decide if I really want it or not. A long term, unimplemented feature of cabal-debian is to integrate in cabal-install like features so that it will automatically fetch and debianize all the dependencies. But that is only a dream at the moment.

The second approach I use is to create a chroot, and just install the libraries in the chroot. For example, I needed to fix happstack to work with 6.12, so I just did that in a chroot where it wouldn't get mixed up with my normal development environment.

And finally, sometimes I just cabal install the packages into my user package config, whatever I need to do, and then ghc-pkg unregister them before they cause trouble. Though I am always annoyed that the files won't ever be removed...

Personally, I think the cabal-debian-install route would be the best way to go, but that requires real development work. Also, just creating the debian source packages is not enough -- you also need to build them. And if you update one of the dependencies, you need to rebuild some of them again. The autobuilder does a good job of that -- but seems like a pretty heavyweight solution. But, if it is true that going outside the packaging system will always burn you... then what other choice is there?

In the case of seereason, I think it comes out as a win, because if one person wants a package, it is likely the other people are going to want or need it as well. So if one person packages something, the other two get it for free...

All this sometimes makes me think that Arch linux is the way to go :p

- jeremy

On Dec 6, 2009, at 10:05 PM, Erik de Castro Lopo wrote:

Hi all,

Does anybody use both debian and cabal installed packages? I know I
definitely  prefer debian packages but some stuff, like contributing
to upstream packages, just really needs cabal-install.

I know I've tried to make these co-exist in the past and it was nothing
but pain.


Erik de Castro Lopo

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