GHC Weekly News - 2014/11/07

Austin Seipp austin at
Fri Nov 7 22:07:44 UTC 2014

Hello *,

It's that time again, so get ready for some good ol' fashion news
about your favorite compiler.

  - Austin announced the 7.10 STABLE freeze date earlier today, which
is two weeks from the time of this posting: November 21st, 2014. If
you're a developer and have a feature you want, you'd better get it
reviewed and checked soon!
  - Austin also opened a discussion about a possible LTS branch for
GHC, spawned off from a suggestion by John Lato a few weeks email.
This discussion has been brought up several times before this, but for
the most part has fizzled out a bit. But maybe with a different focus
- on a separate branch with a team of maintainers - we can hash out a
plan of action, and just give it a whirl.
  - This past week, Simon PJ, Austin, Gintautas Miliauskas, and
several others met over a video chat to discuss the future of windows
builds. And it went pretty well! We've scribed up some notes, and sort
of laid out what we think will be happening for Windows in the near
  - Gergo Erdi opened up an RFC about type signatures for pattern
synonyms, which is one of the last pieces of the pattern synonyms
implementation we've been missing.
  - Simon PJ pushed a major overhaul of the constraint solver, just in
time for GHC 7.10. This was the result of a few months of work that
Simon has been glad to get off his plate, and hopefully should make
the type checker faster, leaner, and more modular (as usual).
  - Jan Stolarek talked about his planned improvements to the users
guide, which is ticket #9358. Hopefully for 7.10 the resulting
documentation will be *much* more clear and up to date.
  - Alan Zimmerman has got some more patches up for adding annotations
to the GHC Abstract Syntax Tree (AST). The hope is this new
representation will make it much easier for tools to enrich the AST
with their own custom metadata. Alan has been working on this for
several weeks now, so a good review is in order!
  - Mateusz Lenik, a new contributor, has discussed improving the
'Ticky Ticky' profiling code and resurrecting some of the older
features; luckily Jan inspired this work and had some comments. Thanks
  - Alexander Berntsen asked an question about abstracting over
constraints in GHC. Richard replied, but it seems this work might be
quite difficult!
  - Austin Seipp brought up a question about Windows support: can we
officially drop support for XP, now that Microsoft has done the same?
And what minimum version requirements should we endorse? Vista or
Windows 7 would give improvements due to API improvements, with
Windows 7 offering even more. If you're a GHC on Windows user, please
let us know!

And this weeks closed tickets include quite a long list, thanks to
everyone cleaning up the bug tracker: #9747, #9236, #9753, #9752,
#9262, #8953, #9084, #9738, #8571, #8295, #8261, #9754, #110, #9345,
#8849, #8819, #9658, #8960, #9395, #9705, #9433, #9633, #9359, #9081,
#8482, #3376, #9712, #9739, #9211, #9728, #9750, #9768, #9773, #9741,
#9284, #9774, #9771, #9001, #8626, #8986, #9268, #8975, #8962, #8921,
#8089, #8843, #8829, #9295, #7913, #2528, #9779.


Austin Seipp, Haskell Consultant
Well-Typed LLP,

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