New InstallShield: no more DLLs

Christian Lescher
Mon, 27 Nov 2000 19:37:23 +0100

> I've put up a new InstallShield for GHC 4.08.1 (Windows edition). This no
> longer contains DLLs and import libraries for the libraries, so you have to
> use the compiler with -static.

Hmm ... That's really a fundamental change in GHC's Windows edition.

> I intend to stick to this scheme in future releases (probably replacing
> -static with -dynamic

Good idea! :-) I also regard statically linking as more common than dynamically
linking, so I welcome your idea to make statically linking the default.

> ), as GHC derives few benefits from DLLized libraries,
> and a lot of disadvantages. Also, there is at present an unresolved and
> deep-seated bug (possibly not even in GHC) that prevents some very simple
> DLLized programs from working.

When may Win users expect this bug to be fixed? (A difficult question, I know.)
Although I regard statically linking as much more important than the DLLized
alternative, dynamically linking is (was?) an important feature of GHC for Win -
f.e. to safe space when distributing a bunch of EXEs / DLLs build with GHC.

> Users of DLLs need not despair: one important (and, to the best of my
> knowledge, fully working) version of DLL building remains: you can still
> build static DLLs, that is, DLLs in which all the code has been compiled
> statically, so that all the necessary library code is linked into the DLL.
> Hence, you can still build DLLs to be called from other languages, or to be
> wrapped up as COM components, or whatever.

Exposing Haskell functions to other languages in DLLs is a very, very important
feature of GHC's Win edition! Please go on supporting it as you do!!

> Finally, one nice side effect is that the size of the distribution is nearly
> halved: it now weighs in at a little over 12Mb.

Cheers, Christian