Where do I start if I would like help improve GHC compilation times?

Alfredo Di Napoli alfredo.dinapoli at gmail.com
Fri Apr 7 15:29:36 UTC 2017

Hey folks,

maybe I’m setting up for something too ambitious for me, but I would like
to take an active stance to the overlasting “GHC compilation times are
terrible” matter, instead of simply stare at the screen with despair
whenever GHC compiles a sufficiently large Haskell program ;)

To make this even more interesting, I have never contributed to GHC either!
The max I have pushed myself into was 2 years ago when I successfully built
GHC head from source and tried to fix an Haddock “easy” ticket I don’t even
recall (full disclosure, eventually I didn’t :D ).

Specifically, I would love community recommendations & guidance about:

1. Is this simply too daunting for somebody like me? Maybe is better to
first start contributing more regularly, take confidence with the code base
AND then move forward?

2. Are compilation times largely dependant from the target platform (I’m on
Darwin) or there is
something which can be done “globally” so that the benefits can be
experienced by everybody?

3. Is there any recommended workflow to profile GHC compilation times? Is
there any build flavour one should prefer when doing so? (Maybe the full,
slowest one?)

Thanks in advance for taking the time reading this mail, and have a nice

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