build-system design document: how relevant is it now?

Ben Gamari ben at
Fri Oct 22 21:07:22 UTC 2021

Norman Ramsey <nr at> writes:

> I'm trawling the GHC wiki looking for things that will help
> me understand how the build system works and what might need
> to change for cross-compilation.  I stumbled across
> which git helpfully tells me dates from 2008.  I assume that
> none of it is relevant any longer.
Somewhat surprisingly, the document is still largely accurate. However,
I suspect that it is redundant given the rather significant body of build
system documentation in the Wiki's Commentary.

Ultimately all of this build system documentation will hopefully be
obsoleted with the removal of the make build system in favor of Hadrian.
It's hard to know what to do in cases like this. There is likely still
archival value in this documentation but as archival documentation
accrues the signal-to-noise ratio of the entire body of documentation
falls. I am hope that we can avoid this in the future by erring towards
keeping documentation in the repository, where it is easier to ensure
that documentation tracks changes in the implementation that it


- Ben
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