[Haskell-cafe] Somewhat random history question

Lennart Augustsson lennart at augustsson.net
Mon Nov 12 15:30:14 EST 2007

No worries.
I read the History of Haskell paper twice, but not the final version, I guess.

As far as I remember you started the bootstrapping with the ghc built
on the LML compiler.  But as hbc became available it was soon more
reliable and produced better code, so you switched to that until the
new ghc could compile itself.  That's how I remember it.

There's also a bunch of Prelude related code in the ghc libraries that
originates with hbc.  I've been to lazy to send any "bug" reports
about this.
(Just to get a line of attribution.)

  -- Lennart

On Nov 12, 2007 9:33 AM, Simon Peyton-Jones <simonpj at microsoft.com> wrote:
> | It's interesting that the article completely fails to mention hbc
> | which I know they used during the GHC bootstrap.  Oh well. :)
> |
> | On Nov 11, 2007 2:41 PM, Richard Kelsall <r.kelsall at millstream.com> wrote:
> | > Andrew Coppin wrote:
> | > > "...if GHC is written in Haskell, how the heck did they compile GHC in
> | > > the first place?"
> Lennart, I'm sure this is my fault, and I do apologise.  If we used hbc in the bootstrap, I'd completely forgotten; I thought we'd just used the LML compiler, which is indeed credited.  (Perhaps not everyone knows that you wrote the LML compiler too, with Thomas Johnsson, of course.   It completely changed the landscape of lazy-functional-language compilers.)  What I do remember is that we constantly compared ghc's performance to hbc's, and took ages to catch up!
> I wish we'd corrected any errors of fact before the paper was published.  (It was on the Web for 6 months before publication to accumulate corrections, but errors and omissions remain our fault.)
> Simon
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