[Haskell-cafe] Non-technical Haskell question

Sven Panne Sven.Panne at aedion.de
Mon Dec 6 17:16:46 EST 2004

azrael at demonlords.net wrote:
> The original observation was that the compiler seems archaic. When
> asked, I gave some general comments. What I should have just said was
> that it was to much like a C compiler. Which, no matter how neat you
> think it is, is archaic.

Hmmm, using the number of files generated from a source program as a measure
of the "coolness" of a programming language or its compiler is extremely
strange. There's nothing I could care less about if the language itself
fulfills my needs. Do you care about the strange intermediate files
VisualStudio produces? The contents of you CVS or .svn subdirectories?
I'm quite happy being able to ignore these things...

>  When I use javac every file that is created is necessary for the
> application to run. This can't be said of the ghc compiler. Having an
> excuse that this is way the C compiler does it or that this is the way
> its always been done is to poor of a reason to even argue against. If a
> file isn't needed then it shouldn't be left there. 

Using Java class files as a "good" example is strange again: Java *does*
inline code, namely primitive constants, without leaving any traces of that
fact in the class file. That's part of the reason why every recompilation
checker for Java can only do an approximate job without actually *doing*
the compilation. GHC handles this much better.


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