GHC 6.4 release candidates available (breakage on suse 9.2 x86 or x86-64)

Brian Strand bstrand at
Wed Feb 23 18:17:23 EST 2005

Wolfgang Thaller wrote:
>> Thanks, good to know; I'll read through 10.2 more carefully.  I didn't 
>> think I'd need to cross-compile x86-linux to x86-linux.
> You don't need to - the recommended way is to download a binary version. 
> If you don't like using binary distributions, then use it for 
> bootstrapping only, i.e. use it to build a ghc of your choice and then 
> delete it again. This is just like what you usually do when you install 
> gcc on your box for the first time.

I originally tried the binary distribution but ran into library issues.  That 
is of course the obvious path to try, and try it I did.  Rather than going 
straight to installing deprecated libraries, I tried to provide some feedback 
on ghc (especially since 6.4 RCs are out).

>>  Would it be unreasonable to include the unregisterised .hc files with 
>> a source distribution (or .hc files for "popular" platforms), so that 
>> a Haskell novice such as myself could do a "./configure && make && 
>> make install"?  If configure detected no ghc, perhaps it could do the 
>> bootstrap automagically.
> Well, the contents of the .hc files heavily depend on the results of 
> ./configure - so unregistered .hc files still have to be tailor-made for 
> the target platform.
> As far as registerised .hc files for popular platforms go, I fail to see 
> the point. In what way is bootstrapping from platform-specific .hc files 
> superior to installing a binary (apart from the fact that it takes 
> longer and looks cooler)? It would be like shipping GCC as a bunch of 
> x86 .s files.
> Cheers,
> Wolfgang

I have no concern whatsoever with the appearance of "coolness" (or lack 
thereof).  As stated above, I have no problem with installing a binary, but 
that option didn't work out at first, so, ghc being free software, I tried to 
compile it for my platform.  When that failed, I decided to report back on my 
difficulties, hopefully helping anyone who runs into (and googles for) the 
same problem.  (In fact at the moment I am doing exactly as you suggested, 
making a "clean" build of ghc via the binaries, so as not to clutter up our 
many Oracle boxen with (otherwise useless) backwards-compatibility readline 

Regarding gcc, gcc binaries ship with or are available for every commonly used 
platform (and most uncommonly used platforms too); ghc is not (yet) in this 
position.  I was fully aware of the parallel between distributing .s files 
with gcc and .hc files with ghc when I made this suggestion.  Not being 
intimately familiar with ghc internals, I don't know how much work this is, 
and whether the implementation cost exceeds the benefit (easier installation 
for Haskell novices like me).

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