ANNOUNCE: GHC version 6.8.2

Manuel M T Chakravarty chak at
Wed Dec 19 18:26:09 EST 2007

Judah Jacobson:
> On Dec 18, 2007 8:54 PM, Manuel M T Chakravarty  
> <chak at> wrote:
>> Judah Jacobson:
>>> - Statically linking against GMP puts extra license requirements on
>>> any ghc-compiled program; thus, dynamic linking is preferable.
>> Dynamic linking is preferable, because it is the simplest way to
>> comply with the LGLP (specifically, Section 4(d)) in a closed-source
>> program.  However, it is incorrect to say that static linking leads  
>> to
>> extra license requirements.  All that is required is to enable users
>> to use the program with a modified version of the GMP.  There are two
>> simple ways of doing that: (a) provide access to the .o files of your
>> program so that they can statically link with a different version of
>> the GMP or (b) to provide a version of the program linking GMP
>> dynamically alongside the statically linked version.
>> In any case, no change of the closed-source program's licence is
>> required.
> Thanks for the correction and list of alternatives; both seem pretty
> reasonable.  Either way, I guess you're "optimizing" for the casual
> user rather than for a hacker wanting to update GMP who won't be
> stopped by needing to statically link a bunch of .o files anyway.

That's right.  Make it dead simple for the 99.999% of users who  
couldn't care less about GMP as long as it does implement Haskell's  
Integer nicely.  The LGPL requires use to enable the remaining 0.001%  
to hack GMP to their hearts content.  We need to meet this  
requirement, but these are power users who don't need the simplest  
install possible.
>>> - On OS X, installing new frameworks is very easy (just drag-and- 
>>> drop
>>> the framework into ~/Library/Frameworks or /Library/Frameworks; the
>>> former doesn't even need admin privileges).  This doesn't seem like
>>> much to ask of users.
>> I think it is.  It means, Haskell programs are more hassle to install
>> than, say, C programs.
> That's fair, although I think it's still less hassle than, e.g.,
> installing a Ruby program on OS X Panther (which required first
> installing the whole of Ruby itself).

Yes, but on Leopard, Ruby is preinstalled, as is Python, and I'd like  
the barrier to entry to be as low as possible.


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