ANNOUNCE: The Glasgow Haskell Compiler -- version 4.08.2

Julian Seward (Intl Vendor)
Tue, 6 Feb 2001 05:57:57 -0800

           The Glasgow Haskell Compiler -- version 4.08.2

We are pleased to announce a new release of the Glasgow Haskell
Compiler (GHC), version 4.08.2.  The source distribution is freely
available via the World-Wide Web and through anon. FTP, under a
BSD-style license.  See below for download details.  Pre-built
packages for Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris and Win32 are also available.

Haskell is "the" standard lazy functional programming language; the
current language version is Haskell 98, agreed in December 1998.

GHC is a state-of-the-art optimising compiler for Haskell, generating
good code for a variety of platforms.  The distribution includes space
and time profiling facilities, a large collection of libraries, and
support for various language extensions, including concurrency,
exceptions, and foreign language interfaces (C, C++, whatever).

A wide variety of Haskell related resources (tutorials, libraries,
specifications, documentation, compilers, interpreters, references,
contact information, links to research groups) are available from the
Haskell home page at

GHC's Web page lives at

+ What's new in 4.08.2

No new features, just a few minor bug fixes.

+ What's new in 4.08

This should be a stable release.  There have been many enhancements
since 4.06, and shed-loads of bug-fixes (one shed (imperial) ~ one ton

There are the following changes

   - New profiling subsystem, based on cost-centre stacks.

   - Working x86 native code generator: now it works properly, runs
     about twice as fast as compiling via C, and is on a par for
     run-time speed (except in FP-intensive programs).

   - Implicit parameters (i.e. dynamic scoping without the pain).

   - DEPRECATED pragma for marking obsolescent interfaces.

   - In the wake of hslibs, a new package system for
     libraries. -package should now be used instead of -syslib.

   - Result type signatures work.

   - Many tiresome long-standing bugs and problems (e.g. the trace
     problem) have been fixed.

   - Many error messages have been made more helpful and/or

For full details see the release notes:

+ Important Info For Win32 users

ALERT: For reasons as yet not understood, as of January 2001 Cygwin's
mingw package has a problem that causes GHC-compiled binaries to be
built incorrectly. The fix is to ensure that your mingw package is
dated 20001111 (you can set this in the Cygwin installer). See the
installation guide for more details.

+ Mailing lists

We run mailing lists for GHC users and bug reports; to subscribe, use
the web interfaces at

There are several other haskell and ghc-related mailing lists on; for the full list, see

Please send bug reports about GHC to;
GHC users hang out on  Bleeding
edge CVS users party on

+ On-line GHC-related resources

Relevant URLs on the World-Wide Web:

GHC home page   
Haskell home page
comp.lang.functional FAQ

+ How to get it

The easy way is to go to the WWW page, which should be

Once you have the distribution, please follow the pointers in the
README file to find all of the documentation about this release.  NB:
preserve modification times when un-tarring the files (no `m' option
for tar, please)!

+ System requirements

To compile the sources, you need a machine with 32+MB memory, GNU C
(`gcc'), `perl' plus a version of GHC installed (3.02 at least).  This
release is known to work on the following platforms:

  * i386-unknown-{linux,freebsd,netbsd,cygwin32,mingw32}
  * sparc-sun-solaris2
  * hppa1.1-hp-hpux{9,10}

Ports to the following platforms should be relatively easy (for a
wunderhacker), but haven't been tested due to lack of time/hardware:

  * i386-unknown-solaris2
  * alpha-dec-osf{2,3}
  * mips-sgi-irix{5,6}
  * {rs6000,powerpc}-ibm-aix

The builder's guide included in distribution gives a complete
run-down of what ports work; an on-line version can be found at