How to start with GHC development?

Jan Stolarek jan.stolarek at
Sat Dec 15 15:46:23 CET 2012

> OK, so how can we improve it?
First of all I think that materials in the wiki are well organized for people who already have 
some knowledge and only need to learn about particular things they don't yet know. In this case I 
think it is fine to have wiki pages connected between one another so they form cycles and don't 
have a particular ordering.

However as a beginner I'd expect that pages are ordered in a linear way (sorry for repeating 
myself, but I think this is important), that every concept is explained in only one place and 
that there are no links in the text (even at the end - if the text is structured lineary than I 
don't need to decide what to read next, I just go to next section/chapter). This is of course a 
perfect situation that seems to be achievable in a book, but probably not in a wiki (wikibook 
could be a middle ground?).

Right now there are two pages (I know of...) that instruct how to get the sources:
They list two different places containing the sources: github and Are these 
equivalent? A couple of months ago I played with GHC sources: the ones from github were about 
17MB, the ones from were much larger (85MB IIRC) so I guess that these might not be 
exact mirrors.
Second page gives a nice description of how to set up build trees, but it duplicates information 
from the first page (checking out the sources). First page also tells to make a local clone of 
the repo but it does not explain why such a clone should be made (the second page does).
I think that merging these two pages into one might be a good idea. 
I would definitely like more details on the git workflow, especially the branches. Right now I see 
about 40 branches - why so many? Am I required to create my own branch when I start hacking or 
should I just go with master?

It seems that many informations in the wiki are duplicated. There are two pages about 
(after reading the first one source tree started to make much more sense - this is one of the 
informations *I* would like to get first).

In general I think that for beginers it would be good if the wiki had a form of a book divided 
into chapters. I only wonder if it is possible to adjust the wiki for the newbies and at the same 
time keep it useful for more experienced developers.


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