Suggestion re altering the build system
Manuel M T Chakravarty
chak at cse.unsw.edu.au
Mon May 28 08:29:26 EDT 2007
In the last couple of weeks I spent a lot of time just trying to compile
GHC. With the constantly changing build system, incremental builds fail
more often than not after new patches are pulled. And sometimes even
clean builds don't work. For example, today (that is Monday morning in
.au) I could neither build the ghc-ndp branch nor the head pulling the
ghc sources and packages straight of darcs.
I am maybe in an especially bad situation by working on the head and a
branch (ghc-ndp), but we sync the branch fairly often (although that's
been discouraged by the constant build problems). I am also building on
MacOS, which once in a while presents its on kinks (eg, readline
breaking with the change to the Cabal build system until Roman fixed it).
Nevertheless, I don't think I am alone. For example, not long ago I met
Andy Gill in #ghc trying to find a version of the head that's fairly
recent and still builds.
So, let me make a suggestion. Could the changes to the build system
maybe done on a branch of the repos and be integrated into the live tree
in larger intervals? Then, we'd have the pain in bursts, but less
often. I appreciate that this is not entirely trivial as you have to
branch the packages along with the ghc repo, but the current situation
is extremely frustrating.
PS: You may wonder why I didn't complain about failed builds before if
it all was so bad. I simply thought it might be temporary and meant to
just sit through it.
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