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Arch Linux/Arch Haskell Group Maintainership

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The Arch Haskell group maintains AUR packages for Haskell. The Arch Haskell packages make up around 10% of total AUR packages (~2000 packages).

To make the task of implementing the Arch Haskell policy of tracking AUR feasible, we take two approaches:

  • massive automation of Hackage to AUR regular conversion, via cabal2arch and the archlinux utilities library
  • group participation in updating packages.

The first step ensures a consistent user experience:

  • cabal2arch should be used to generate all Haskell AUR packages,
  • which ensures all naming conventions and other policies are followed,

The second point ensures the Arch Haskell project isn't vulernable to "bus errors" where a user burns out.


1 The job of an Arch Haskell group maintainer

The concern of an Arch Haskell maintainer is as follows.

  • Ensure AUR tracks Hackage versions of packages.

To do this, the following work is done:

  • Watch the Hackage RSS feed
  • When new packages appear, attempt to build and upload them, with the "build" script (below).

2 The "build" script

The "build" script is a shell program that wraps cabal2arch. You should always have the latest version of cabal2arch installed. The set of tools you need to run this script are:

  • The haskell-archlinux package.
  • cabal2arch
  • aurploader
  • feed-cli
  • get-aur-url
  • update-aur-log
  • makepkg/pacman

   # Given a hackage .cabal url, build and upload a Arch Linux package
   # Update build reports and package publication feed.
   cd /tmp/
   set -e
   # generate package
   project=`cabal2arch $* 2>&1 | tail -1 | sed 's/Created *//' | xargs basename | sed 's/\..*$//'`
   echo $project
   cd $project
   pkg=`sed -n '/pkgname/{s/pkgname=//;p;q}' PKGBUILD`
   # build package
   if makepkg -f ; then
       # update build report
       echo "$pkg True" >> $HOME/.build-all.log
       exit 1
   cd ..
   # upload package
   echo "Uploading $project.tar.gz"
   aurploader -k $project.tar.gz
   # emit build status information
   # update-aur-log reads the .cabal2arch.log to pass data to feed-cli
   tail -1 ~/.cabal2arch.log | update-aur-log
   # now update the publications list . needs get-arch-url
   cp $HOME/aur.xml /tmp/
   url=`$HOME/bin/get-arch-url $project || cat /tmp/link`
   echo $url
   feed-cli new-item -t`cat /tmp/title` --description-file=/tmp/desc -u/tmp/aur.xml -l"$url"
   rm /tmp/link
   rm /tmp/title
   rm /tmp/desc
   echo scp /tmp/aur.xml
   cp /tmp/aur.xml $HOME

3 Package Quality Assurance

One script generates this table from build success logs:

4 Package Publication and Notification

Another updates the RSS feed, so that packages are publicized:

5 Mapping to Hackage

Yet another updates the distro mapping, so that AUR links are displayed on Hackage

6 Maintaining cabal2arch

  • Some notable Haskell programs (such as yi) ship a library. cabal2arch will by default call it "haskell-yi", which isn't desirable for high profile applications that incidentally ship a library. cabal2arch has a list of exceptions to this rule. If you find a package needing such an exception, edit the `shouldNotBeLibraries` list in Main.hs
  • Many C libraries are listed in .cabal files by different names to the Arch Linux packages. For example, "webkit" in a .cabal file is actually "libwebkit" under pacman. Cabal2arch has a list of such associations, that ensures the right C libraries are installed with the Haskell code. Keeping this list of associations up to date is a key advantage of cabal2arch over cabal-install. Edi t the ` translationTable` list in Main.hs as part of cabal2arch.