Thoughts on the Contributing page

Matthew Pickering matthewtpickering at
Wed Jan 30 15:01:24 UTC 2019

Whilst we're at it, is there any consensus to make the default build
settings more friendly to developers?

The default is still perf which takes a very long time. devel2 would
be an appropriate choice I think for newcomers.


On Wed, Jan 30, 2019 at 2:56 PM Tobias Dammers <tdammers at> wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 30, 2019 at 07:09:25AM +1100, Julian Leviston wrote:
> > As a recent newcomer, it’d be nice to have the option there as a link
> > with a warning sign “here be dragons, but try this out if you’re
> > interested”.  I tried it. It seems better than regular make already (I
> > don’t have to guess at appropriate concurrency, for example, I just
> > throw -j at it and it works it out assumedly because GHC can work out
> > the number of capabilities), and it seems to work out which builds it
> > needs to do next automatically.  Both those things - at least - are
> > more beginner friendly than manually cloning the mk/ file,
> > running ./boot && ./configure && make -j8 then adjusting the
> > mk/ file again to get make to be faster.
> >
> > So, FWIW, I say put the link on the page at the top as an alternative,
> > mark it with a warning saying something along the lines of that it
> > might not work, but it’s the future, and it’s simpler and easier if it
> > does, and feel free to try it out, then fallback to make. There are
> > plenty of sharp rocks for beginners, and ironically the existing
> > make-based build system is probably one of them. (Having said that,
> > it’s very helpful to know the stages of compilation, so hopefully
> > whatever docs we arrive at will point the beginner to something
> > explaining what’s going on as they do their first bootstrapping build,
> > for the curious.
> Actually, after talking to both the Simons as well as Alp, one of the
> core people in the Hadrian project (if not the mastermind), we
> tentatively decided to write the Newcomers' Guide for Hadrian, not Make.
> In principle, Hadrian should be able to do everything that is needed for
> this, and the "regular" code paths have been tested extensively, and as
> you have noticed, it is a lot more user friendly. We may still want to
> link to the Make-based build instructions somewhere, but present
> Hadrian as the default option.
> A short explanation of build stages will of course still be in the Guide
> - they are just as relevant to Hadrian as they are to the Make build
> system. However, the tutorial is quite long as it is already, so I want
> to keep it as short as possible, delegating in-depth explanations to
> other (ideally existing) wiki pages.
> If you like, you can follow along with my progress:
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