Default name of target executable

Duncan Coutts duncan.coutts at
Tue Oct 11 06:04:16 EDT 2005

On Tue, 2005-10-11 at 10:45 +0100, Jon Fairbairn wrote:
> On 2005-10-11 at 09:49BST "Simon Marlow" wrote:
> > On 11 October 2005 06:29, Tomasz Zielonka wrote:
> > > It wasn't meant to be a bug report, only a feature request ;-)
> > > 
> > > Actually, I was mostly interested if anyone would mind if GHC
> > > chose the name based on the top-level module.
> > > 
> > > Would you accept the patch?
> > 
> > I'm slightly inclined not to make this change, but I could be swayed if
> > there was enough interest in it.  What I'm seeing so far is not
> > overwhelming support for the change.  Simon PJ is in favour, though.
> a.out has always irriteted me. I /never/ want an executable
> called that, and from time to time I try to run
> "top-level-module" and then curse that I haven't used
> -o. Looking now I find I have an a.out in my haskell
> directory, and I haven't the faintest idea what it is, so
> the only thing to do with it is delete it.
> The name "a.out" is meaningless too. It flies in the face of
> Haskell's approach to giving things sensible names. On this
> system ghc produces ELF format executables, so it doesn't
> even signify whatever historical format a.out used to be.

I'd tend to agree.

It'd mean one less magic incantation to tell students when teaching
practicals (and one less thing for them to get wrong) if they can do:

ghc --make Main.hs

rather than

ghc --make Main.hs -o Main

(that's one advantage of ghci for teaching students, that 'ghci Blah.hs'
"Just Works"tm)


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