packaging options for Mac OS X

Mark Lentczner markl at
Sun Nov 28 20:55:44 EST 2010

On Nov 28, 2010, at 1:12 PM, Gregory Collins wrote:
> ... have you managed to
> repackage the .pkg file inside into another distribution? 

That isn't quite what I'm doing here. I'm not repackaing the embedded package at all. I'm unpacking all the way down to the actual file tree under GHC.framework. This tree of files is then just bundled back up again into a package no different than the distribution tree was -- indeed the two trees are identical (see the diff commands).

On Nov 28, 2010, at 4:13 PM, Daniel Peebles wrote:
> Mac OS supports .mpkg packages that can bundle together multiple .pkg files and install them in one go. Not sure about the user experience...

Actually, metapackages are less favored over the newer distribution package, available since 10.4. It turns out, as Greg found, that except for very simple packages, you can't really just aggregate them and end up with a good, or even working, user experience. Hence, the distribution package, which is more flexible, has a better UX, but takes more work on the developers part. 

Upshot of both of these: Separate from the issue of framework division and naming (see upcoming e-mail from me), I'm still aiming for a single distribution package containing a single component (even if that component contains two or more frameworks).

I assuming that it is *not* in Haskell Platform's installer user stories to support people who want more complicated setups such as having Haskell Platform packages, but on a newer, (or older?), version of GHC. Or people who want to have multiple copies of GHC installed, each with some version of Haskell Platform. For all these cases, anyone with enough chops to set such a thing up, has enough to run "cabal install haskell-platform"[*] in the right environment to get what they want.

	- Mark

[*]: Now that I look I see that haskell-platform as a package *isn't* available on hackage. Perhaps it should. Otherwise, someone has to manage to find and download the magic haskell-platform.cabal file, and then figure out the command that causes cabal to install everything mentioned in a .cabal file, even though the cabal file itself has nothing to install. (I don't know how to do this off the top of my head, but I might be less clued in on cabal than others...)
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