[m-dev.] Mercury's "Time to Hello World"

Peter Schachte schachte at unimelb.edu.au
Tue Mar 26 11:43:53 AEDT 2013

On 25/03/13 22:32, Paul Bone wrote:

> I agree with Micheal and Matt in general.  Specifically I think that
> installing a single grade and the sources from which you can add extra
> grades on demand is the right option.  Then when I do 'mmc --debug hello' I
> should get a nice friendly message saying "A debug grade is not
> configured, run 'sudo mercury-manager setup asm_fast.gc.debug" to install a
> suitable one.

Agreed:  defaulting to a minimal set of grades and gracefully recovering
when a file is not available in the right grade would be better than a
long build.  Better still, automatically build any missing files on
demand and cache them in an installation directory owned by a special
'mercury' user, like latex does with missing fonts.  That way you'd only
need root permission for the initial install; after that, *every*
possible grade is available to any user, as long as disk space holds out.

OTOH, many of my students were put off by having to build Mercury.  When
Julien built a Windows install package, that made a big difference to
student acceptance for most students.  Perhaps rather than improving the
build-from-tarball process, the time would be better spent putting
together MAC OS, debian, and red hat package building processes to go
with your Windows one.

Peter Schachte              I have opinions of my own -- strong
University of Melbourne     opinions -- but I don't always agree with
schachte at unimelb.edu.au     them.
www.cs.mu.oz.au/~schachte/      -- George Bush Sr.
Phone: +61 3 8344 1338

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