packaging options for Mac OS X

Daniel Peebles pumpkingod at
Sun Nov 28 19:13:53 EST 2010

Mac OS supports .mpkg packages that can bundle together multiple .pkg files
and install them in one go. Not sure about the user experience, but given
that we currently get two .pkg files, it seems like it'd be pretty trivial
to bundle them into one .mpkg without changing the generation scripts for
the individual packages. It's also a fairly Mac-ey way of doing things.

On Wed, Nov 24, 2010 at 12:58 AM, Mark Lentczner <markl at> wrote:

> I've been asked, and am willing to take over maintenance of the Mac OS X
> installer from George.
> In preparation for that, I've been digging into how both GHC and Haskell
> Platform are currently packaged for Mac OS X, and how they might be in the
> future. I've generated some crazy ideas here, and thought I'd run them by
> all of you, especially since I have no idea what approaches are used for
> Windows and various Linux environments.
> [Terminology warning: "installer package" means a Mac OS installer package
> that the user opens to install. "haskell package" means a package that cabal
> can build and install]
> For Mac, GHC creates their own installer package that installs GHC and the
> base libraries. The central issue is how to deliver that along with the
> Haskell Platform components. Currently we give the user the stock GHC
> installer package, and a second H.P. installer package. They install these
> (in order) and off they go. It would be nicer to have just one installer
> package... Here are some ideas
> 1) Deliver the GHC installer package, but with a different postinstall
> script that downloads, compiles and installs the Haskell Platform. (!) This
> would be essentially the script from the Haskell Platform repo.
> 2) Like #1, but include the source trees or tarballs of all the haskell
> packages in the installer package, and have the script build from
> those sources.
> 1&2 Result in only one framework (GHC) being installed on the Mac, and the
> H.P. haskell packages are just managed by ghc-pkg & cabal just like any
> other haskell packages the user installs. Further, while these take longer
> to install, they guarantee that the packages are built in a way best for the
> user's system.
> 3) Unpack the GHC installer package, build and install the Haskell Platform
> haskell packages into that tree, and then re-create the installer package.
> This results in a single installed framework on the Mac (which could be
> called GHC, or GHC-HP, or some such).
> 4) Build an independent Haskell Platform framework, containing the haskell
> packages built and installed. Take apart the GHC installer package, and
> build a new, single installer package that installs both the H.P. framework
> and the GHC framework. This give two frameworks installed on the Mac, and
> the GHC one is the same as what GHC's installer package would install, but
> gives the user a single installer experience.
> I'm looking for thoughts on this, both Mac specific, and what other
> distributions for H.P. have choosen to do, since these questions must be
> similar:
> 1) Use the installers GHC produces untouched? Rebundle them? Scrap them and
> build a new installer as needed?
> 2) Maintain compatibility with GHC's choice of platform packaging and
> installation? or not?
> 3) Dynamically build the Haskell Platform components at install time or
> not?
>        - Mark
> Mark Lentczner
> IRC: mtnviewmark
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> Haskell-platform at
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