[Haskell-cafe] Hugs vs GHC (again) was: Re: Some random newbiequestions

Simon Marlow simonmar at microsoft.com
Fri Jan 7 06:56:23 EST 2005

Here's a summary of the state of Unicode support in GHC and other
compilers.  There are several aspects:

 - Can the Char type hold the full range of Unicode characters?
   This has been true in GHC for some time, and is now true in Hugs.
   I don't think it's true in nhc98 (please correct me if I'm wrong).

 - Do the character class functions (isUpper, isAlpha etc.) work
   correctly on the full range of Unicode characters?  This is true in
   Hugs.  It's true with GHC on some systems (basically we were lazy
   and used the underlying C library's support here, which is patchy).

 - Can you use (some encoding of) Unicode for your Haskell source files?
   I don't think this is true in any Haskell compiler right now.

 - Can you do String I/O in some encoding of Unicode?  No Haskell
   compiler has support for this yet, and there are design decisions
   to be made.  Some progress has been made on an experimental prototype
   (see recent discussion on this list).
 - What about Unicode FilePaths?  This was discussed a few months ago
   on the haskell(-cafe) list, no support yet in any compiler.


On 07 January 2005 00:52, Dimitry Golubovsky wrote:

> Hi,
> Looks like Hugs and GHC are being compared again ;)
> I am just interested to know, what is the current status of Unicode
> support in GHC? Hugs has had it for about a year (or more, in CVS) at
> least at the level of recognizing character categories and simple case
> conversions based on the Unicode database files. Also UTF-8 or
> locale-based I/O encoding conversion to internal Unicode is available.
> Does GHC has similar support?
> Some time ago (about 1.5 years) I tried to play with Unicode I/O in
> GHC, and it looked like it did not have much Unicode support back
> then (at least on I/O level). Has anything progressed in this regard
> since then? 
> Most of this list subscribers seem to be GHC users, so can anybody
> answer? 
> BTW when answering the original post (brief quote below) different
> aspects were mentioned, but not internationalization ones. Is it
> really not that important?
> Dimitry Golubovsky
> Middletown, CT
> Benjamin Pierce wrote:
>> * What are the relative advantages of Hugs and GHC, beyond the
>>   obvious (Hugs is smaller and easier for people not named Simon to
>>   modify, while GHC is a real compiler and has the most up-to-date
>>   hacks to the type checker)?  Do people generally use one or the
>>   other for everything, or are they similar enough to use Hugs at
>> some moments and GHC at others? 
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