Proposal: Improving the LLVM backend by packaging it

Austin Seipp austin at
Fri Oct 24 23:52:53 UTC 2014

Hi *,

A few days ago a discussion on IRC occurred about the LLVM backend,
its current status, and what we could do to make it a rock solid part
of GHC for all our users.

Needless to say, the situation right now isn't so hot: we have no
commitment to version support, two major versions are busted, others
are seriously buggy, and yet there are lots of things we could improve

So I give you a proposal, from a few of us to you all, about improving it:

I won't repeat what's on the wiki page too much, but the TL;DR version
is: we should start packaging a version of LLVM, and shipping it with
e.g. binary distributions of GHC. It's just a lot better for everyone.

I know we're normally fairly hesitant about things like this (shipping
external dependencies), but I think it's the only sane thing to do
here, and the situation is fairly unique in that it's not actually
very complicated to implement or support, I think.

We'd like to do this for 7.12. I've also wrangled some people to help.
Those people know who they are (because they're CC'd), and I will now
badger them into submission until it is fixed for 7.12.

Please let me know what you think.

PS. Joachim, I would be particularly interested in upstream needs for
Debian, as I know of their standard packaging policy to not duplicate


Austin Seipp, Haskell Consultant
Well-Typed LLP,

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