How to start with GHC development?

Ian Lynagh ian at
Sat Dec 15 14:58:05 CET 2012

On Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 09:41:12AM +0100, Jan Stolarek wrote:
> Dnia piątek, 14 grudnia 2012, Ian Lynagh napisał:
> > I think the main problem is that it's a very broad question. The answer
> > to "how should I get started" would be completely different for if you
> > wanted to implement a type system extension, port GHC to a new platform,
> > or fix a bug in ghci
> All three task have one thing in common though - the GHC build system. Project sources are over 
> 500MB, there are many subrepositories, build scripts etc - this is really intimidating at first 
> and I guess that seeing all that was a bit discouraging. Now that I know the compiler itself is 
> about 9MB it doesn't look that bad :) Wiki indeed seems to have all the information required. 
> It's just that it would be good to give beginners a _precise_ list of things they should read to 
> begin hacking.

OK, so how can we improve it?

I've just made one change that might help: On
"Working Conventions" was mentioned in the opening paragraph of
as something to "also see", which perhaps made it sound
like it should be read first, which I don't think was the intention.
I've moved it to the bottom of the list instead, so you won't see it
before going through "Setting up your system for building GHC", "Getting
the sources" and "Getting started with the build system".


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