Sun, 14 Mar 2010
GHC 6.12.1 in Debian Testing.
Joachim Breitner recently announced on the Debian Haskell mailing list that version 6.12.1 of the Glasgow/Glorious Haskell compiler was about to transition from Debian unstable to Debian testing. That has now happened. This means there is a very good chance it will be part of the next stable release of Debian.
A big thanks is due to Kari Pahula, the Debian maintainer for GHC who managed to get this version of GHC working on a bunch of CPU architectures not officially supported by the upstream GHC maintainers. Deserving of equal attention are Joachim Breitner and Marco Túlio Gontijo e Silva who did a large amount of real quality work to improve the way Haskell libraries are packaged in Debian.
The big change recently was drastic improvements in the way library dependencies are tracked across packages which will make it much easier to write tools to automatically check for broken dependency chains. Packaging Haskell libraries for Debian is now a relatively trivial and fool proof exercise. Packaging a library which is on Hackage can take as little as 5 minutes.
With the current version of GHC in Debian and a large and growing collection of Haskell libraries, writing Haskell code on Debian using nothing but Debian packages is now a pleasure. Ubuntu and other Debian and Ubuntu derived distributions of course also benefit from this work.