Can't compile GHC

robert dockins robdockins at
Mon May 9 10:37:39 EDT 2005

Daniel Carrera wrote:
> Hello,
> I've been trying to learn Haskell.
> Some software isn't user friendly. But I think that a compiler requiring 
> itself to compile is actively user hostile.

Perhaps.  Nonetheless it is common practice for compilers to be written 
in the target language and to be compiled via bootstrapping.  Ever take 
a look at the GCC sources?  You guessed it: C.

> I check the website, hoping to find a binary. I find an old binary, but 
> it just won't work. Something about

The newest version of GHC (6.4) does not work on Solaris for reasons 
that are known but as-yet unsolved because the development team lacks a 
Solaris guru.  Version 6.2.2 has a Solaris build available:

 From the site:

    NOTE: you must use GCC 2.95 or 3.4+ on Sparc. There is a known bug
    with GCC versions between 3.0-3.3 which causes incorrect code to be

If this is the binary you found, it is possible you have an incorrect 
version of GCC.  With some more information (version numbers would be a 
good start), it may be possible for some of the other Solaris users on 
this list to help.

> At this point I really wonder why the compiler was designed this way 
> instead of doing the configure; make; make install that everyone else 
> does. It's not often that it takes me more than a week to compile a 
> program.
> At this point I decide that I'll teach people Python instead of Haskell. 
> I don't particularly like Python, but hey, it works.

Your choice, of course.

Robert Dockins

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