Frontend Plugins Proposal

Ben Gamari ben at
Tue Jul 25 16:44:36 UTC 2017

Matthew Pickering <matthewtpickering at> writes:

> 4 years ago Edsko proposed a patch to add support for frontend plugins
> to GHC. You can read his proposal here -
> Something like core to core plugins but for typechecked code would be
> useful for tool writers. Does anyone know why the patch was never
> merged?
This was before I started following closely, however, knowing how these
things tend to go, I doubt that there was any strong objection to
merging. It probably just got dropped.

If we were to pick up this proposal again today it would certainly help
if it provided some concrete motivation for the new plugin type.

> Confusingly Edward Yang implemented another feature called frontend
> plugins which does something quite different (allowing users to write
> custom major modes rather than hook into the frontend). These features
> are quite different to each other.
To be fair, Edsko's proposal refers to the proposed plugin type as
a "source plugin" not a "frontend plugin", despite the Wiki page name. I
think "source plugin" is a better name anyways.


- Ben
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