Request for comments on proposal for literate programming using markdown

Philip Holzenspies pkfh at
Mon Aug 13 17:20:53 CEST 2012

Dear Simon,

On 13 Aug 2012, at 15:18, Simon Hengel wrote:
> Thanks a lot for the clarification.
> I see some value in your proposal to replace GHC's unlit, mainly in
> terms of setting a common standard.  Personally, I'd still feel more
> comfortable if that proposed standard would be developed as a Hackage
> package, so that it can proof itself useful first.  I'm less convinced,
> that it should be inlined into GHC (I do agree, that this would be
> necessary, if you want to include the markdown into the AST.  But where
> is the user?  HsSyn does not even use the GHC API, AFAIK.).

HsSyn doesn't use the GHC API, but the GHC API uses HsSyn. If things aren't kept in the HsSyn, the API can not produce them either. Comments that the parser discards, the API can not produce.

>> Would there be a benefit to *not* doing this other than *me* not
>> having to do the work?
> Yes, currently you can replace the unlit phase.  So you can use
> arbitrary markup in .lhs files.  Which I think is quite useful.

Just so that there are no misunderstandings: The proposal **never** suggested throwing out any pluggability for custom unlitters. I can not be clear enough about this. The **only** thing I intend to change is the **default** case of unlitting (and maybe CPP). **Whatever** options exist now (command line or otherwise) for using alternatives to the default cases will **remain** as they are.

I don't think I ever suggested otherwise, so I'm surprised that this came up. Thanks for bringing it up, though, because if anyone else got that idea, I hope it is now thoroughly squashed!

Having put this behind us, do you still see reasons not to do this?


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