Request for comments on proposal for literate programming using markdown

Brandon Allbery allbery.b at
Wed Aug 22 17:29:08 CEST 2012

On Wed, Aug 22, 2012 at 11:22 AM, Philip Holzenspies
<pkfh at>wrote:

>  On 22 Aug 2012, at 16:13, Brandon Allbery wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 22, 2012 at 4:37 AM, Philip Holzenspies <pkfh at
> > wrote:
>> So, there are many things people read in the proposal that I didn't want
>> to put in, but the things I very much do want to include get lost in
>> translation also. I wanted to allow the GHC source itself to be written in
>> markdown.
> If the existing source tree is using one form of markup, changes and
> additions should really be consistent with what's already there instead of
> introducing a new kind of markup.  This could actually be *more* disruptive.
>  The point was that quite a bit of the GHC source has markdown-like
> things in it, using LaTeX-style code-fencing, but LaTeX-incompatible markup
> (like underlining section with ~~~~~).

Even so.  A concrete version of what I'm getting at is that ghc is
self-bootstrapping, so older versions need to be able to build newer ones;
GHC code using a new markdown literate preprocessor --- or, worse, one
integrated with lexing or parsing --- will not be buildable with GHC
versions predating its addition.  So even given the addition of such, ghc
wont itself be able to use it for at least several releases, to give OS
distributions etc. time to upgrade their packages to versions that can
build the result.  (Asking them to re-bootstrap is usually asking too much;
they'll likely just stop updating or possibly drop ghc entirely.)

brandon s allbery                                      allbery.b at
wandering unix systems administrator (available)     (412) 475-9364 vm/sms
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