[Haskell-cafe] Re: Why Haskell?

Simon Marlow simonmarhaskell at gmail.com
Mon Jul 24 06:53:21 EDT 2006

Bulat Ziganshin wrote:
> Hello Pepe,
> Sunday, July 23, 2006, 5:23:18 PM, you wrote:
>>>1) Lack of debugging support.  Yes there are print statements and trace,
>>You can find more info about this project in the Haskell wiki at:
>> http://haskell.org/haskellwiki/Ghci/Debugger
>>All you'd need to do is to compile ghc-6.5 with a few patches (if you
>>are in Windows you can use MinGW). But I am afraid you are right, this
>>is a work in progress and we are in the process of polishing some
>>serious issues right now. I can't really recommend it for now.
> is this will be really usable without gui support? your project is
> really great, but i think it's too early to recommend it for real work
> (as opposite to hacking/integration with IDEs)

I'm pretty excited about the GHCi debugger work.  The reasons are all to do with 
practicality - there is very little that is a technical improvement over other 
soltions in this work (although there are some difficult engineering issues 
which Pepe has done some great work on solving).

I think this work is important because it gives everyone access to debugging 
facilities with the minimum of hassle.  If you're already using GHCi, then you 
can set breakpoints - with no side conditions, no extra packages to install, no 
need to recompile your program, and no restrictions on what your program can do 
or what language it is written in.  It Just Works, all the time, everywhere that 
GHCi is supported.  (ok, so you have to use the interpreter for modules with 
breakpoints, but that's not a serious problem).

Sure, it doesn't have all the cool features of Hat, but it wins on immediacy, 
and that's why I think it will succeed.  Furthermore, because the functionality 
will be exposed by the GHC API, it is available to the IDE developers too.


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