[Pkg-haskell-maintainers] Bug#659081: Taking binary from hackage or GHC?

Duncan Coutts duncan.coutts at googlemail.com
Wed Feb 8 11:21:32 UTC 2012

On 8 February 2012 10:24, Joachim Breitner <nomeata at debian.org> wrote:
> Dear interested parties :-),
> GHC 7.4.1 started to ship and expose the binary library, version
> On hackage is binary-

It was firmly my opinion that shipping and exposing binary in GHC was
and is a mistake. Previously it was given a different name to try to
discourage people using it, but apparently that didn't work. The
authors of binary (myself included) don't want to ship it yet as part
of the Haskell Platform because the API isn't right yet (ongoing
work), and shipping it with GHC effectively makes it part of the

> In Debian, we try to provide one version of each library, so we have to decide:

Yes, you're not put in an easy situation. Nor will we be when we come
to packaging the next HP release.

>  * Use the version provided by GHC and drop the independent binary
> package (as we have done with random, for example).
>  * Do not expose binary in GHC and continue using the version from
> hackage.

I'm not sure I have the whole answer, you'll also need a response from Ian.

Eventually we will want to propose binary for the HP, but GHC may well
still want to depend on binary and ship it. So it might end up as one
of those HP libs that is shipped with GHC in the long term.

> @Upstream: Do you think binary on hackage will diverge much from the one
> in GHC and would you expect your users to want the new versions before
> they are shipped with GHC?

No, it should not diverge much, GHC picks up the latest code from the
upstream version occasionally.

> And do you expect breakage in any components
> (e.g. haddock) if everything but GHC uses a newer binary package?

At some point, we will have a major version change and that will break
the API and the binary format (we might even split the package in

If they use similar versions but not the same, then probably the only
thing to break would be haddock, since I'm guessing that it makes use
of binary instances provided by the GHC package. But of course haddock
is also shipped with GHC.


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