[Haskell-cafe] GHCI hangs on Gtk2HS SOE on Windows, but GHC works fine?

Duncan Coutts duncan.coutts at worc.ox.ac.uk
Fri Jun 15 19:50:12 EDT 2007

On Fri, 2007-06-15 at 23:15 +0200, bf3 at telenet.be wrote:
> I'm learning Haskell using Paul Hudak's book SOE. 
> I'm using GHC 6.6 under Windows XP.
> GHC on Windows does not seem to come with HGL (is this correct?), so I used
> Gtk2HS, which contains a SOE implementation.
> I noticed that most programs hang when using GHCI, but they work fine with
> GHC.

It's not GHCi's fault as such. The reason it does not work well in GHCi
at the moment is a bit technical. The Gtk2Hs SOE implementation
currently uses Haskell threads. Like most GUI toolkits, Gtk+ is single
threaded and requires special attention to use it from multiple OS
threads. Currently, by default, GHC produces executables that use the
single-threaded runtime system, and this works fine with multiple
Haskell threads because they get multiplexed on the same OS thread. GHC
can however produce executables that use the multi-threaded runtime
system and ghci.exe itself is such a program. So when you use SOE with
GHCi it's actually using multiple threads to access Gtk+ an not in a
safe way, so it goes wrong in a myriad of ways.

I'll take another look at trying to make the SOE stuff work with the
threaded runtime system by using the primitives Gtk2Hs provides to use
Gtk+ safely from multiple threads.


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