How to start with GHC development?

Jan Stolarek jan.stolarek at
Thu Dec 13 09:56:59 CET 2012

Dear list,

I'm reposting my message from Haskell-cafe here since this seems like a more appropriate place to 
ask this question. I would like to learn about internals of GHC and contribute to its development 
in the future. I read a couple of papers that give a very general overview of GHC (chapter from 
AoS, papers about inliner and multicore support) and I'm thinking what direction should I pursue 
now. I got the GHC sources and started reading commentary on the wiki, but it seems that entry 
barrier is very high.

Aside from the problem of understanding the whole project organization itself, I also don't have 
background on implementation of functional languages. In fact I have a rather basic knowledge of 
compilers in general - I only took Stanford's online course on Compilers at Coursera. I was 
thinking that perhaps I should read SPJs "Implementing Functional Languages: a tutorial" or "The 
Implementation Of Functional Languages" book to learn more about theory? On the other hand I 
don't know if getting stuck in theory for next couple of months is a good idea.

I would greatly appreciate any advice and help.


More information about the Glasgow-haskell-users mailing list