Can't compile GHC

Mark Brooks jmb_personal at
Mon May 9 21:26:29 EDT 2005

>I think it should be if you want Haskell to grow in acceptance. The first 
>barrier that new potential users hit is the one that causes most people to 
>give up and move on to a different project. That first barrier should be 
>made as low as possible.

Without commenting on any of the other points raised in this thread, I must 
agree with this.

I am new to Haskell.  I consider becoming proficient in Haskell programming 
a worthy goal in itself.  However, making Haskell useful beyond an academic 
context is difficult because of the limitations you face with the tools, 
both in terms of installing and using those tools and the fact that some 
tools simply aren't available.  I say this because I have been evaluating 
Haskell for use in my senior project.  I need a stable and usable graphics 
toolkit for the project.  While graphics toolkits for Haskell do exist, they 
are oftentimes either translations of other bindings that don't quite work, 
incompatible between platforms, limited in their utility, or in some cases, 
abandonware that represented the heroic effort of a lone programmer that 
disappeared when that programmer lost interest or moved on to other 

I am not saying this to disparage the hard work of those who develop and 
maintain GHC and other Haskell compilers/runtime environments.  That work is 
very much appreciated.  And I can understand that people will become 
impatient when somebody expresses a sentiment in the form of "well, your 
product sucks so I'm going to use somebody else's".  GHC is a good product. 
Haskell is not GHC or any particular implementation, although in the end, 
the utility of the platform can determine the success of the language.  
Python is easier to use because it has a larger standard API and 
considerable effort has gone into making it portable across many platforms.  
This may be a simple issue of resources, I don't know.

It is my understanding that those who participated in creating and 
standardizing Haskell did so with the goal of reducing the proliferation of 
functional programming languages and creating a functional programming 
language that would combine "best practice" features and promote the use of 
this programming model in preference to the older imperative style.  But at 
the end of the day, you have to be able to use it to do "stuff".  A devotion 
to a good concept only goes so far if the second-best concept can get 
"stuff" done with a fraction of the effort.

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