Proposal: Don't read environment files by default

Iavor Diatchki iavor.diatchki at
Thu Mar 28 16:17:53 UTC 2019

I used to be confused by the environment files too until I figured out what
they are, and now I use them all the time.

It is really nice to be able to have the "old fashioned" way of just
running ghci and having it be aware of the current project your are in.

To me, it really makes sense to be aware of the context by default.  To
reduce confusion, we could make GHCi be more explicit about telling the
user that it loaded a context, but I think 99% of the time I want it to so.
So I'd prefer to have a flag to disable the behavior for the 1%, but the
default should load the context IMHO


On Thu, Mar 28, 2019, 08:49 Richard Eisenberg <rae at> wrote:

> On Mar 28, 2019, at 10:31 AM, Herbert Valerio Riedel <hvriedel at>
> wrote:
> I for one would hate to remove what I consider a useful feature
> I don't see anyone is asking for a feature removal here. This thread seems
> to be more about how to set a default.
> I personally find it surprising for a tool like a compiler to be
> directory-sensitive. But I've now learned that with `export
> GHC_ENVIRONMENT=-` in my profile, my compiler indeed isn't
> directory-sensitive. Furthermore, I've learned how to suppress the env
> files entirely with `write-ghc-environment-files: never` in my
> ~/.cabal/config. So I'm not actually all too bothered by this anymore. I
> retain my opinion that directory-sensitivity is a poor design (it's
> precisely what threw me off Stack the first time I tried it) for
> compiler-like tools, but perhaps that ship has sailed, as I agree that
> changing this now may lead to a poor user experience.
> Richard
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