[Haskell-cafe] Building DLLs

Andrew Coppin andrewcoppin at btinternet.com
Thu Sep 25 13:50:29 EDT 2008

Andrew Coppin wrote:
> OK, so a GHC question: Apparently at some point, GHC used to support 
> DLLs. And then it stopped working. And then it may or may not have 
> been brought back again... Does anybody know exactly what the status 
> of this is? Is it currently working or broken? If it's working, what 
> can and can't you use it for? And how do you work it? ;-)

Since nobody seems inclined to offer any help on this one, I started 
digging around with Google.

It appears that this used to work sometime around 6.4.x, and then for 
some reason it stopped working. The docs for 6.8.3 indicate that you can 
compile a Haskell program as a DLL instead of an EXE, but that's it.

The GHC Developer Wiki promises that this feature will "definitely" be 
back in GHC 6.10. But then, the same page promises an RC by 19 Sep 2008.

More digging and I discover various status pages that suggest that this 
functionallity isn't working in HEAD yet, and will probably actually end 
up in 6.10.2 or maybe 6.10.3.

Looking at the surface, it appears as if not very much is currently 
going on with GHC. And then, by pure chance, I happened across a link 
that allows you to access the GHC developers' mailing list, and 
woooooo-boy, it looks pretty damned busy in there! o_O

(I was most amused to discover that Don is currently assigned on a GHC 
ticket that was created in response to a comment that was made by me - 
over a year ago...)

So the current state of affairs seems clear: shared libraries are not 
currently supported. That leaves me with two questions:

- Is this likely to make it into the next official GHC release?

- Why did it "break" in the first place?

PS. Oh, and though there's no RC yet, it appears that there *are* 
several betas available already, so maybe I'll fire up a virtual machine 
to play with those anyway...

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