OSX installer -- another status update

Gregory Collins greg at gregorycollins.net
Thu May 21 10:02:48 EDT 2009

Hi all,

I'm making progress on the OSX installer front, torturously slow though
it may be. I wasted most of Tuesday trying to bundle GHC's OSX installer
inside the Haskell platform distribution -- it looks like GHC's
installer is broken somehow as the GUI tools choke on it, saying "Could
not unarchive package payload". This, despite cpio handling it just

I've unpacked the GHC installer (and the .pkg file inside it) and
compared it to ones generated by the PackageMaker tool, and it looks
okay to me. Can some other OSX hacker take a look at this for me? The
reproduction steps:

  * download GHC-6.10.3-i386.pkg

  * mkdir tmp; cd tmp; xar -xvf ../GHC-6.10.3-i386.pkg

  * cd ghc.pkg

  * xar -cvf ../../ghc.pkg .

  * Open the PackageMaker GUI and try to make a distribution containing
    the extracted package.

Do you get the same error I get? Am I doing this wrong? It's difficult
to tell since the tools are so buggy and there is barely any useful and
accurate documentation from Apple (despite a 60+ page "reference"

As a workaround for now I think I'm going to bundle two packages inside
a .dmg; one for GHC and one for the platform libraries. I still have
some work to do on the postinstall scripts for the cabal libraries, and
we won't have an uninstaller right away, but I should have a viable test
installer within a few days.

Gregory Collins <greg at gregorycollins.net>

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