ANNOUNCE: GHC version 6.6.1

Albert Y. C. Lai trebla at
Sat Apr 28 18:51:24 EDT 2007

Duncan Coutts wrote:
> Is it just me who thinks this is a silly idea? Why should GHC include a
> C++ compiler?

I'm afraid it's just you. Like that someone who has indicated interest 
in haskell-c++ integration, I am interested in the prospect of mixing 
haskell with .NET languages, and not to mention that everyone, not just 
.NET literates, will benefit from the many libraries available in .NET. 
Can we also include a .NET runtime, a .NET documentation suite, all .NET 
libraries, a C# compiler, a VB compiler, and an F# compiler in a future 
GHC package for Windows? In fact also the corresponding Mono suite in 
the Linux case? Yes, I understand that a bridge between GHC and .NET 
does not exist yet, but consider this. In the spirit of "everyone is 
invited to help!" whenever there is a demand and not yet a supply in the 
Haskell community, we should encourage everyone to help add this missing 
bridge, and what better way is there if not ship a complete .NET suite 
in GHC so all interested parties can hack or test right away! And since 
this requires hacking the source code of GHC, wouldn't it be nice if the 
binary tarball also included the source tree? And also darcs since we 
will be crazy pushing and pulling?

I am not done yet. An ideal of .NET, at least for frontline developers 
if not for corporate Microsoft, is to be portable throughout Windows, 
Linux (via Mono for example), BSDs, MacOS, Solaris,... At present let's 
say just Windows and Linux in practice. Someone on Windows Vista without 
Linux will not be able to test out the bridge under construction on 
Linux. Someone on Linux without Windows Vista will not be able to test 
out the bridge under construction on Windows Vista. This is a sorry 
state of affair. To help developers and testers (and remember "everyone 
is invited to help!"), I have this bright idea: The GHC binary for Vista 
should include Linux, and the GHC binary for Linux should include Vista! 
(The GHC binary for MacOS should include both Linux and Vista!)

The last suggestion raises licensing issues, I am aware. We can't give 
away Vista just like that. We have to distribute it legally. The GHC 
team should extend itself (e.g., hire me!) to set up a lightweight 
e-Commerce company, authorized by Microsoft to sell Vista licences and 
releases. Then it can legally distribute GHC+Vista packages. (Of course 
you will have to pay, and the payment will find its way to Microsoft.) 
Collaboration with MSDN is also possible. This opens up a whole new 
dimension where no one has gone before! Just look at IBM: "We don't sell 
products, we sell services" brought them great success, in fact brought 
them out of great crisis into great success. If the GHC team also goes 
"we don't release compilers, we release complete platforms", the 
prospect is beyond imagination and its profoundness beyond expression.

How should I file this to the bug track? Should I file one monolithic 
report containing the whole shebang above? Or should I re-factor it into 
a million piecemeals and file each individually?

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