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[WARNING: This page is *extremely* out of date and likely to be obsolete]


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-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 or elsewhere.
  • Make distribution tarballs and install on server.
  • Automated download and build in a fresh local temp directory for testing.
  • Copy Haddock docs to server (deprecated now that hackage has caught up with ghc).
  • Generate editor tags files (via hasktags).
  • Convert source files between dos-style and unix-style line endings.
  • Customizable.

Packages using cabal-make

To get a concrete sense of the first few of the features listed above, here are some links to docs for packages that use cabal-make. (Please add your own packages to this list when you use cabal-make.)

  • Phooey: a simple, arrow-based functional GUI library
  • DeepArrow: a framework for composable semantic editors
  • TV: combined and separable packaging of functionality and interface
  • GuiTV: GUIs for TV
  • Checkers: Some QuickCheck helpers
  • FieldTrip: Functional 3D
  • Reactive: Functional reactive programming with a data-driven implementation

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 checkers as follows:

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

server =
server-dir = /srv/code
server-url-dir =
include ../

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

A few darcs-related targets:

  • pull and push.
  • repo: makes a remote repository
  • 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 checkers Makefile is really

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)/


Use guidelines

  • In order for cabal-make to work, you have to list each of your source modules on a line by itself, including the first one in the list (instead of placing it aside the Cabal directive). You can use "make show-modules" to see if your list of source modules is extracted correctly.
  • Cabal-make assumes your source code to be under src. Overridable via top-src-dir.

Get it

darcs get --partial


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