GHC (API?) question: GHC Core for Base libraries

Bill Hallahan william.hallahan at
Tue Dec 4 02:10:48 UTC 2018


I'm writing a program analyzer that operates on GHC Core.  Currently, I'm using the GHC API to get Core from .hs files.  I'd like to be able to run this analysis on the standard libraries that come with GHC, which requires getting those as Core.

Unfortunately, the build process for these libraries is not entirely straightforward, and relies on a make script.  I eventually came up with the plan of writing a GHC plugin, which, rather than performing any optimizations, would simply run the analysis, and then print the results out to a file.  I was able to write the plugin successfully, and test it on several files that were not from the base library.

Then, i turned to modify the GhcLibHcOpts flag in mk/, so that the make script would call the plugin.  I ended up with the following:

GhcLibHcOpts = -package-db /usr/local/lib/ghc-8.0.2/package.conf.d -package-db /Users/BillHallahan/.ghc/x86_64-darwin-8.0.2/package.conf.d -package hplugin -fplugin HPlugin.Plugin -v

The two package databases are to get to (1) the GHC API and (2) the plugin ("hplugin") itself.  With this I get an error message, which I have not been able to find a way to resolve:

"inplace/bin/ghc-stage1" -hisuf hi -osuf  o -hcsuf hc -static  -H32m -O -Wall      -this-unit-id ghc-prim- -hide-all-packages -i -ilibraries/ghc-prim/. -ilibraries/ghc-prim/dist-install/build -ilibraries/ghc-prim/dist-install/build/autogen -Ilibraries/ghc-prim/dist-install/build -Ilibraries/ghc-prim/dist-install/build/autogen -Ilibraries/ghc-prim/.    -optP-include -optPlibraries/ghc-prim/dist-install/build/autogen/cabal_macros.h -package-id rts -this-unit-id ghc-prim -XHaskell2010 -package-db /usr/local/lib/ghc-8.0.2/package.conf.d -package-db /Users/BillHallahan/.ghc/x86_64-darwin-8.0.2/package.conf.d -package hplugin -fplugin HPlugin.Plugin  -no-user-package-db -rtsopts -Wno-trustworthy-safe -Wno-deprecated-flags     -Wnoncanonical-monad-instances  -odir libraries/ghc-prim/dist-install/build -hidir libraries/ghc-prim/dist-install/build -stubdir libraries/ghc-prim/dist-install/build -split-objs  -dynamic-too -c libraries/ghc-prim/./GHC/Types.hs -o libraries/ghc-prim/dist-install/build/GHC/Types.o -dyno libraries/ghc-prim/dist-install/build/GHC/Types.dyn_o
<command line>: not built for interactive use - can't load plugins (HPlugin.Plugin)
make[1]: *** [libraries/ghc-prim/dist-install/build/GHC/Types.o] Error 1
make: *** [all] Error 2

So I'm now wondering (an answer to either of these two questions would be helpful):
(1) Is this a viable path?  That is, is it possible to use a plugin when building Base?  If so, does anyone know what I might be doing wrong/what could be causing this error message?
(2) Is there some other better/easier way I could get Core representations of the standard libraries?  I guess, in theory, it must be possible to compile the standard libraries with the GHC API, but I have no idea how/where to look to figure out how?

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