Sunday, December 19, 2010

New Version of Hoogle (4.1)

I've just released a new version of Hoogle to both Hackage and to Hoogle is a Haskell search engine that allows you to search for functions by either name or approximate type signature.

What's New

  • The first release in over a year, building with up to date packages and compilers.

  • Up to date library definitions for all of Hackage.

  • Searches the Haskell Platform by default.

  • Significant improvements when installing Hoogle locally.

  • Lots of additional small improvements.

Searching all of Hackage

Hoogle can now search all of Hackage. By default it will search the Haskell Platform, but you can search additional packages using +package-name, for example +tagsoup Tag a -> Bool. You can search both the platform and additional packages by including +default, for example ([a] -> (b, [a])) -> [a] -> [b] +split +default.

I'm still not sure what should be searched by default, and which collections of modules should be available, but I'm open to suggestions.

Installing Hoogle Locally

Many of the improvements to Hoogle are of specific benefit when installing Hoogle yourself, not using the web version. To install Hoogle:

cabal update
cabal install hoogle
hoogle data

The last step will download information and generate databases for the Haskell Platform. You can then run searches, such as hoogle filter -n10. Hoogle now uses cmdargs, so hoogle --help will detail some of the options available.

You can also run Hoogle as a web server by typing hoogle server. Now visit localhost in a web browser and you'll have the power of Hoogle on your computer. If you often work offline, you can run hoogle data --local and hoogle server --local to use documentation on your local machine where available.

What Now?

Hoogle is currently the spare time project I'm focusing on - there are lots of improvements I am intending to make. Hoogle 4.1 is about getting the code up to a standard that can be easily maintained, allowing future versions to deliver more features. Please try out Hoogle, report any bugs you find, and let me know your thoughts.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Installing the Haskell network library on Windows

Summary: This post describes how to install the Haskell network library on Windows.

Update 2016: My current approach is here.

The network library used to be bundled with GHC. Unfortunately it was unbundled from the standard installer (in my opinion, a mistake), and people were required to either install it using Cabal (rather tricky) or switch to using the Haskell Platform (which is not suitable for power developers who want to test with newer/older GHC versions, or those who want to upgrade/downgrade network). This post describes how to install the library on Windows using Cabal.

First, install Cygwin. I selected lots of options (configure tools, auto conf, compilers) - but I'm not sure which are necessary.

Then start a Cygwin window and run:

WHICHGHC=`which ghc` && PATH=`dirname $WHICHGHC`/../mingw/bin:$PATH && cabal install network --configure-option --host=i386-unknown-mingw32 --global --enable-library-profiling

This configures network to use mingw32, and sets up the PATH so that mingw binaries from GHC are first, and get configured in. You can then use the network library as normal, without ever using Cygwin again. I have successfully executed this command on GHC 6.12.3 and 7.0.1.

Dependencies on foreign libraries are a problem for any cross platform language. Several years ago, installing Haskell libraries was a painful process - but Hackage and Cabal have made it impressively easy. The only remaining packages that are complex to install are those that bind to foreign libraries, most of which use configure scripts, which are not well suited to Windows. I hope over time even libraries with foreign dependencies will become easy to install.

Update: Ivan Perez suggests the alternative form:

WHICHGHC=`which ghc` && PATH=`dirname $WHICHGHC`/../mingw/bin:$PATH && cabal install network --configure-option --build=i386-unknown-mingw32 --configure-option --host=i686-pc-cygwin --global --enable-library-profiling