How to start with GHC development?

wren ng thornton wren at
Sat Dec 15 07:14:17 CET 2012

On 12/14/12 10:56 AM, Gershom Bazerman wrote:
> On 12/14/12 9:44 AM, Simon Peyton-Jones wrote:
>> This thread has made it clear that we should do more to help people
>> find a "way in" to GHC.  Here is what I have done:
>> ·Started a GHC Reading List page
>> <>, giving
>> background reading.  It's just a start; there are many gaps. I would
>> love it if you would all help fill it out.  It's a wiki.
>> ·Amplified the Working on GHC
>> <> page.
>> Again, please help make it more useful. It's a wiki.
>> What else would help?   If the answer is X, can anyone help do X?
> Something else that I think would be useful is a long-term 'wishlist'
> for ghc, consisting of modest goals from an engineering standpoint.
> [...]
> A sense of this might help interested contributors to decide where to
> direct their efforts.

I agree wholeheartedly. A lot of times fixing bugs requires one to 
already have a good idea how everything is structured. And research 
features require one to be interested/able to do research. In my 
experience with other projects, the more mid-term engineering tasks tend 
to be a great place to get started.

Now, I wonder, how should we go about setting this up? Wiki pages are 
good for the more long-term or more visionary sorts of goals, but 
they're too liable to get out of date for the short- and mid-term 
engineering goals. The bug tracker already has a listing for "tasks" 
rather than "bugs"[1]. Perhaps we should be advertising that more? Or 
should we tweak the tracker settings to provide a better venue for these 
sorts of tasks? The latter would make it easy to have a wiki page on 
teaching folks how to search for tasks appropriate to their comfort level...


Live well,

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