hadrian-util: An experiment in a more usable hadrian UX

Alp Mestanogullari alp at well-typed.com
Mon Jan 6 09:06:11 UTC 2020

For reference, hadrian-util lives at: 

I quite like the idea of trying out improvements to the UX via an 
external wrapper. For wider adoption, we'd have to distribute it in a 
nicer way I suppose, but taking this one step at a time sounds good.

On 05/01/2020 19:30, Ben Gamari wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> For the past few months I have been using Hadrian for the majority of my
> GHC builds. In due course I have encountered a few papercuts:
>   * hadrian/cabal.build.sh is quite wordy (#16250); moreover, you need to
>     be in the source root to invoke it (#16667)
>   * editing hadrian.settings is quite difficult due to the lack of
>     availability of tab-completion in vim
>   * maintaining multiple build roots is quite error-prone since you must
>     remember which build flavour you used for each (#16481, #16638)
>   * there is no equivalent to setting `stage=2` in `mk/build.mk` to make
>     the stage-1-freeze persistent
> To address these I cobbled together a small wrapper, hadrian-util. I
> have this installed in my home-manager environment with a shell alias,
> `hu`, meaning that building GHC is as easy as typing `hu run` anywhere
> in the tree.
> As discussed in the README, `hadrian-util` supports multiple build
> roots, has a moderately convenient interface for manipulating
> hadrian.settings (with completion!) and has enough persistent state to
> eliminate most of the error-prone boilerplate from Hadrian invocations
> without being confusing.
> There is the question of what the long-term future of hadrian-util
> should be. Arguably it is merely a hack papering over some of the
> shortcomings of Hadrian's current UX; perhaps eventually these will be
> fixed. However, in the meantime, I've found that hadrian-util makes
> hadrian quite pleasant to use.
> I hope others also find this useful.
> Cheers,
> - Ben
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Alp Mestanogullari, Haskell Consultant
Well-Typed LLP, https://www.well-typed.com/

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