64-bit windows version? (Haskell is a scripting language too!)

skaller skaller at users.sourceforge.net
Thu Jun 21 22:50:05 EDT 2007

On Fri, 2007-06-22 at 02:06 +0100, Brian Hulley wrote:
> skaller wrote:

> > (a) Pick a portable scripting language which is readily available
> > on all platforms. I chose Python. Perl would also do.
> If I had time to look into improving the GHC build system I'd definitely 
> use Haskell as the scripting language. 

Two difficulties. The first, obviously, is that this will
only work for building Haskell when you already have Haskell,
so no good for the initial bootstrap of a first port.

The second is simply that dynamic typing is generally
better for build systems, because it allows code to
'self-adapt'. To do this with a statically typed language
you would need to generate text, compile it, and run it,
which is not possible because by specification you don't
have a compiler yet. Even at the point you have bootstrapped
far enough that you do have one .. it's still very messy
to get programlets to communicate using shells in a portable
way.. in some sense that's the problem you're trying to solve!

An alternative is to implement the build system in, say,
Scheme, and then write a Scheme interpreter in Haskell.
Scheme can self-adapt internally because its compiler
is built-in.

This approach removes the dependency on external vendors,
and you might even make the initial bootstrap builder
simple enough you could use a drop-in replacement,
eg Guile (GNU scheme) on unix systems.

John Skaller <skaller at users dot sf dot net>
Felix, successor to C++: http://felix.sf.net

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