[ANNOUNCE] GHC 9.6.1-rc1 is now available

Ben Gamari ben at well-typed.com
Fri Mar 3 21:57:11 UTC 2023

The GHC team is very pleased to announce the availability of the first
(and likely final) release candidate of GHC 9.6.1. As usual, binaries
and source distributions are available at

Beginning with GHC 9.6.1, GHC can be built as a cross-compiler to
WebAssembly and JavaScript. This is an important step towards robust
support for compiling Haskell to the Web, but there are a few caveats to
be aware of in the 9.6 series:

 - Both the Javascript and WebAssembly backends are still at an early
   stage of development and are present in this release as a technology

 - Using GHC as a cross-compiler is not as easy as we would like it to
   be; in particular, there are challenges related to Template Haskell

 - GHC is not yet run-time retargetable; a given GHC binary targets
   exactly one platform, and both WebAssembly and JavaScript are
   considered platforms for this purpose. Cross-compilers must be built
   from source by their users

We hope to lift all of these limitations in future releases.

Additionally, 9.6.1 will include:

 - Significant latency improvements in the non-moving garbage collector

 - Efficient runtime support for delimited continuations

 - Improvements in compiler error messages

 - Numerous improvements in the compiler's memory usage

See the [release notes][] for a comprehensive accounting of changes in
this release.

As always, one can find a migration guide to aid in transitioning from
older releases on the [GHC Wiki][migration-guide]. We have also recently
started extending our release process to cover a wider set of Linux
distributions. In particular, we now offer Rocky 8 and Ubuntu 20.04
binary distributions which cover RedHat-derivative and distributions
using older `glibc` releases (namely 2.27), respectively.

Please do give this release a try and open a [ticket][] if you see
anything amiss. If all goes well we expect the final release should be
available by late next week.

Happy Haskelling,

~ Ben

[ticket]: https://gitlab.haskell.org/ghc/ghc/issues/
[migration-guide]: https://gitlab.haskell.org/ghc/ghc/-/wikis/migration/9.6
[release notes]: https://downloads.haskell.org/ghc/9.6.1-rc1/docs/users_guide/9.6.1-notes.html

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