How to start with GHC development?

Chris Nicholls chrisnicholls1 at
Thu Dec 13 13:00:18 CET 2012

> > And this is where I'm a little stuck too. I have a reasonably good
> picture
> > of GHC's pipeline, having worked on it for my master's thesis, and I'd
> like
> > to get more involved and possibly even contribute something useful. But
> I'm
> > not sure where to start.
> Well, that's a bit discouraging - if you worked on it in master's thesis
> and still don't know
> where to start then it this is probably even harder than I suspected.

Sorry! That wasn't what I intended. I meant more that I have a reasonably,
good idea of  *how* to work on ghc but not much of idea of *what* I
can usefully do.  The work in my thesis turned out not to be that useful,
and I'm not sure what to do next. It sounds like you've already got some
ideas there though.

Perhaps I shouldn't have hijacked your question with a 'me too' but I
suspect there are quite a lot of people who want to contribute, but don't
really know where to start.

Don't be discouraged, its absolutely possible to get your hands dirty
without having to understand all the theory and the community is incredibly
 As for getting an overview of the pipeline, I found the videos of the
talks the Simons gave at the 2006 Hackathon helpful. Perhaps someone with
more knowledge than me can comment on how relevant the content is after six
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