7.8 Feature window

Luite Stegeman stegeman at gmail.com
Thu Aug 22 17:53:47 CEST 2013

In addition to the Hooks patch (see other mail on this post) I have a few
minor updates to support GHCJS that I think are pretty uncontroversial:

1. Add a WayCustom to the Ways type in DynFlags to make custom tags. We use
this to generate native code (.o, .hi) and JS code (.js_o, .js_hi) in the
same dir. This way we have a multitarget compiler that can load the native
code for TH.
2. Add "foreign import javascript" to the FFI grammar and a JavaScriptFFI
extension to enable it.
3. Add an ArchJavaScript constructor, unsupported on the built-in NCG

Only thing remaining is that the 'safe' and 'unsafe' specs in the
javascript imports are actually misnomers, they should be named 'async' and
'sync' respectively, with 'sync' being the default.

There used to be more in the GHCJS patch, but the rest has now been
superceded with more general Hooks. This means that all GHCJS-specific
things have actually been removed from the patch (no more wired-in
ghcjs-prim package and JSRef type), so any JS backend could use the exact
same things, using Hooks to customize things its own way.


On Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 7:01 PM, Austin Seipp <aseipp at pobox.com> wrote:

> All,
> GHC 7.8's release is drawing near. We would like to make a release
> candidate sometime around ICFP, which will be in late September.
> Unfortunately that's just over a month a way, so the clock is ticking!
> The tree will need a few weeks of stabilization. After that, we will
> release an RC, and likely branch. Then things will roughly return to normal.
> The exact date for feature cutoff is not set yet (but I will follow up
> soon on this.) So, I'd like a show of hands and a quick 'check in' for
> outstanding work for 7.8. There are a few things we know for sure are - or
> were - tentatively scheduled for this release:
>  * SIMD improvements
>  * New Template Haskell
>  * Constraint solver for type naturals
> These are - as far as I'm aware - the largest outstanding features which
> not quite yet in HEAD.
> For the release, we would like to minimize 'disruptive' features, because
> 7.8 already has many large changes. In particular, Dynamic GHCi and dynamic
> builds will likely prove the biggest challenge 'in the field', so we would
> like plenty of time to stress this as best we can for the RC, and the
> release itself.
> There are some things which we are fairly certain will not make it:
>  * Joachim's new newtype coercion implementation
>  * Adam's new record implementation
> There are some things I'm not very privvy to perhaps, but could still go
> in:
>  * Nicolas possibly had some optimisation improvements according to Simon.
>  * Edsko had a small patch for extended plugin functionality in HEAD, but
> Luite and Thomas also have input here. Status is uncertain.
>  * ERDI was working on pattern synonyms. I believe you were having some
> trouble with the implementation. Can someone help him if necessary?
> Finally, there are loose ends to tie off:
>  * I believe Simon and Jose were having discussions about the new Typeable
> implementation, regarding hand-written instances. This should be fine for
> 7.8 and is mostly some behavioral tweaking I think.
> I've undoubtedly missed things here. Please fill me in. :)
> Note that before the freeze, you should interpret 'disruptive' with your
> own good judgement. Smaller patches and improvements are certainly welcome
> as always, and you shouldn't wait on me to push something if you feel good
> about it. If you're ever unsure, just ask. Worst case is something gets
> backed out, but it's nothing we cannot come back to.
> --
> Regards,
> Austin - PGP: 4096R/0x91384671
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