Documenting GHC

Simon Peyton-Jones simonpj at
Tue Mar 16 04:57:34 EDT 2010

| > As a user of GHC, I would vote for a full two-month delay in
| > the next release of GHC to allow the GHC team to devote
| > two months of their time exclusively to writing documentation.
| While it would be lovely to be able to do that, in reality both Simon PJ
| and myself work in a research lab and it would be hard for us to take
| two months out to write compiler internals documentation.  We try to
| write docs when we can, e.g. I recently wrote a bunch of stuff about the
| GC internals on the wiki:

Another way in which we try to document things is by writing papers.  For example I am elbows-deep in a paper about the new dataflow analysis and rewrite engine in the back end.  And another about the new type inference engine.   Not every aspect of GHC has a paper about it, and the papers are not always up to date wrt the implementation, but they are at least carefully written and reviewed.

As Simon says, GHC is a collaborative project.  We have two kinds of collaborative documentation:

* User-oriented documentation lives on the HaskellWiki, here, under "Collaborative documentation"

* Developer-oriented documentation (developers of GHC itself, that is) lives on 
  the GHC Trac Wiki, here, both in the main Commentary and under Collaborative documentation

Perhaps you feel you know something about X but not everything.  Please still write about it; we'd be  happy to review your draft, and it's usually better than nothing about X.


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