GHC version 5.00.2 is available
Julian Seward (Intl Vendor)
Mon, 18 Jun 2001 07:46:42 -0700
The (Interactive) Glasgow Haskell Compiler -- version 5.00.2
We are pleased to announce a new patchlevel release of the Glasgow
Haskell Compiler (GHC), version 5.00.2. 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, and Solaris(sparc) are also available.
Haskell is a standard lazy functional programming language; the
current language version is Haskell 98, agreed in December 1998.
GHC is a state-of-the-art programming suite for Haskell. Included is
an optimising compiler generating good code for a variety of
platforms, together with an interactive system for convenient, quick
development. 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 5.00.2
Fixed a few more bugs which turned out to be showstoppers for various
people. Symptoms of the fixed bugs are:
* Panics in the bytecode (interactive) linker (two different bugs).
* Compiled code dies with a segfault (two different bugs).
* Interpreted code crashes or acts weird.
* A panic in the CPR analyser.
* An infinite loop in the strictness analyser.
* Nested comments are not properly handled during module chasing.
* :module command doesn't accept underscores in module names.
* -L<dir> doesn't work on the ghci command line.
* Posix.executeFile mistakenly propagates SIGVTALRM to children.
* Exceptions during an interactive session cause the UI to forget
some important state information.
* (a new feature) Packages can now loaded at the ghci prompt.
Do ":s -package <packagename>".
What's new in 5.00.1
This is a bug-fix release. Most reported bugs in 5.00 have been
fixed, including a substantial number of show-stopping bugs. The
system should be much more usable for more people. Upgrading to
5.00.1 is recommended. To all those who tried out 5.00 and reported
bugs, we thank you for your feedback and patience.
At the moment there is no Win32 build of 5.00 or 5.00.1 available. We
decided to push Win32 support to the 5.02 release, so as not to delay
5.00.1 any further.
What's new in 5.00
5.00 has been majorly revamped since the previous stable version,
This should be a stable release. Major changes since 4.08.2 are:
- An interactive system, similar in style to Hugs. You can
load and unload modules, run expressions, ask the types of things.
Module dependencies are tracked and chased automatically.
Combinations of compiled and interpreted modules may be used.
All the GHC libraries are available in interactive mode, as are
most of the Glasgow extensions to Haskell 98. Compilation in
interactive mode (to bytecode) is about three times faster than
compiling to object code.
- Batch compilation of multiple modules at once, with automatic
dependency chasing. For large programs this can halve compilation
times, and removes the need for Makefiles.
- Enhanced package (library) management system. Packages may be
installed and removed from an installation using the ghc-pkg tool.
- Initial Unicode support - the Char type is now 31 bits.
- Sparc native code generator, giving much faster compilation on
(Native code generation for x86s has been available for a while).
- Improved heap profiling - you can restrict heap profiles
by type, closure description, cost centre, and module.
- Support for the latest Foreign Function Interface (FFI)
proposals. Marcin Kowalczyk's hsc2hs tool is included.
- Language extensions: parallel list comprehensions and functional
- The usual huge collection of bug fixes. Most reported bugs have
For full details see the release notes:
How to get it
The easy way is to go to the WWW page, which should be
We supply binary builds in .rpm/.deb form for all you Linux junkies
out there, and in InstallShield form for Windows folks. Everybody
else gets a .tar.gz which can be installed where you want.
Once you have the distribution, please follow the pointers in the
README file to find all of the documentation about this release.
On-line GHC-related resources
Relevant URLs on the World-Wide Web:
GHC home page http://www.haskell.org/ghc/
Haskell home page http://www.haskell.org/
comp.lang.functional FAQ http://www.cs.nott.ac.uk/~gmh/faq.html
To compile programs with GHC, you need a machine with 32+MB memory, GNU
and perl. This release is known to work on the following platforms:
Ports to the following platforms should be relatively easy (for a
wunderhacker), but haven't been tested due to lack of time/hardware:
The builder's guide included in distribution gives a complete
run-down of what ports work; an on-line version can be found at
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
www.haskell.org; for the full list, see
Please send bug reports about GHC to firstname.lastname@example.org;
GHC users hang out on email@example.com. Bleeding
edge CVS users party on firstname.lastname@example.org.