[Haskell-cafe] Opinion about JHC

Lennart Augustsson lennart at augustsson.net
Wed Nov 11 13:47:43 EST 2009


Do you use jhc when you develop jhc?  I.e., does it compile itself.
For me, this is the litmus test of when a compiler has become usable.
I mean, if even the developers of a compiler don't use it themselves,
why should anyone else? :)

  -- Lennart

On Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 3:37 AM, John Meacham <john at repetae.net> wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 10, 2009 at 07:41:54PM -0800, Philippos Apolinarius wrote:
>> I discovered a Haskell compiler that generates very small and fast
>> code. In fact, it beats Clean. It has the following properties:
> Excellent. that was my goal ;)
>> 1 --- One can cross-compile programs easily. For instance, here is how I generated code for Windows:
>> jhc --cross -mwin32 genetic.hs -o genetic
> Yup. This was a major goal. compiling for iPhones and embedded arches is
> just as easy assuming you have a gcc toolchain set up. (at least with
> the hacked iPhone SDK.. I have never tried it with the official one)
>> 2 -- It seems to be quite complete.
>> 3 -- However, it often compiles a file, but the program fails to run.
>> I have the following questions about it:
>> 1 -- How active is the team who is writing the JHC compiler?
> Hi, I am the main contributor, but others are welcome and several have
> made signifigant contributions. Development tends to be spurty. A lot of
> work will get done in a short amount of time, this generally corresponds
> to when an external contributor gets involved and the back and forth
> helps stimulate patches on my part to complement theirs.
> Although I have not been able to devote a lot of my time to jhc in the
> past, hopefully this will change in the not to distant future and I will
> be able to work on it full time.
>> 2 -- Is it complete Haskell? The author claims that it is; it compiled
>> all programs that I wrote, but that does not mean much, because my
>> programs are quite simple.
> It does Haskell 98 and several extensions, which is pretty much what GHC
> does. However, it does not implement the same set of extensions as GHC
> so this causes issues as a lot of people use GHC extensions extensively.
> I plan on supporting all of Haskell' of course, and the popular GHC
> extensions to help compatibility. Not all are implemented.
>> 3 -- Why the Haskell community almost never talks about JHC?
> Part of it is that I am not very good at advocacy. I don't always
> post announcements on the main haskell lists figuring the interested
> parties are on the jhc list already. I do try to make jhc good, fast,
> and usable, I always hoped someone better at advocacy than me would join
> the project :) In truth, I think the spurty nature of development also
> affects this, the list will be quite for a long time with a flurry of
> development lasting a few weeks occasionally inspiring some discussion
> in the other groups.
> In any case, I am glad you liked what you found! please join the mailing
> list for jhc if you are interested in its development or using it.
>        John
> --
> John Meacham - ⑆repetae.net⑆john⑈ - http://notanumber.net/
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