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Cabal-make is an include file for GNU make files to be used with Cabal in sharing Haskell packages. It is intended mainly for package authors. People who just build & install packages software can do so entirely with Cabal commands. In particular, it's a bit hairy to get the best results from Haddock & hscolour.


  • Web-based, cross-package links in Haddock docs (documentation generated by Haddock).
  • Syntax coloring via hscolour, with per-project CSS.
  • Links from the Haddock docs to hscolour'd code (per-project, per-module, and per-entity).
  • Links from Haddock docs to wiki-based user comment pages (per-project and per-module), with automatic subscription (for email notification).
  • Set up with darcs repositories on
  • Make distribution tarballs and install on server.
  • Automated download and build in a fresh local temp directory for testing.
  • Copy Haddock docs to server
  • Generate editor tags files (via hasktags).
  • Convert source files between dos-style and unix-style line endings.
  • Customizable.

Example use

On my Windows system, I've placed cabal-make at c:\Haskell\cabal-make, and I like to install Haskell packages under c:\Haskell\packages. I might write a Makefile for the package TV as follows:

user = conal
configure-dirs=--prefix=c:/Haskell/packages --datadir=c:/Haskell/packages
haddock_interfaces=\,c:/ghc/ghc-6.6/doc/html/libraries/base/base.haddock \,c:/ghc/ghc-6.6/doc/html/libraries/mtl/mtl.haddock \,c:/Haskell/packages/DeepArrow-0.0.1/doc/html/DeepArrow.haddock

include c:/Haskell/cabal-make/

I don't like wiring the interface paths (especially with version numbers) into my makefile, but I don't know how to avoid it. Suggestions, please.

To build TV, I run "make" with targets like "configure", "build", "doc", and "install". Or "all" (default) for all of these targets.

Darcs-related targets:

  • darcs-repo: makes a repository a
  • darcs-tag: do "darcs tag" using current version (extracted from project Cabal file)
  • darcs-dist: make a tarball and copy to server
  • web-doc: copy docs & colored sources to the server
  • test-get-build: Test by doing "darcs get", configure, and build in a fresh temp directory

The target "watch-comments" sets up a subscription to the Haskell wiki talk pages that correspond to the package's modules (for the user comment links inserted in the Haddock docs.)

There are a few other targets as well. See the source.


I use a trick for collecting my favorite setting to be saved across my own packages. The file is called "":

user = conal
cabal-make = c:/Haskell/cabal-make
configure-dirs = --prefix=c:/Haskell/packages --datadir=c:/Haskell/packages
hscolour-css = $(cabal-make)/hscolour.css

include $(cabal-make)/

Then I just have to define haddock_interfaces and include my-cabal-make. My TV Makefile is really

haddock_interfaces=\,c:/ghc/ghc-6.6/doc/html/libraries/base/base.haddock \,c:/ghc/ghc-6.6/doc/html/libraries/mtl/mtl.haddock \,c:/Haskell/packages/DeepArrow-0.0.1/doc/html/DeepArrow.haddock

include ../


Get it

darcs get


There are several customization variables defined in cabal-make that can be overriden. Simply define these variables in your makefile before "". See the "Settings" section of the source.

To do

  • Eliminate hard-wiring the interface paths into my makefile.