[Haskell-cafe] Opinion about JHC

Lennart Augustsson lennart at augustsson.net
Fri Nov 13 15:55:51 EST 2009

Thanks Neil,

That was indeed my point.  Since a compiler is a substantial program I
would have more confidence it a compiler that is self-hosting.
Surely you must have tried?

  -- Lennart

On Fri, Nov 13, 2009 at 8:08 PM, Neil Mitchell <ndmitchell at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi John,
>>> 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? :)
>> Well, this touches on another issue, and that is that jhc is a native
>> cross-compiler. It never behaves differently if compiled by another
>> haskell compiler or is compiled on an alternate platform. There is never
>> a need to 'bootstrap' it, once you have jhc running anywhere then it is
>> as good as it would be if it is running everywhere. So to me,
>> self-hosting has never been a big issue as it doesn't provide any direct
>> "material" benefit. My time is better spent implementing more extensions
>> or improving the back end.
> I think you might have missed Lennart's point. It's fair to say you do
> a lot of Haskell development work while writing a Haskell compiler. If
> you aren't using your compiler for your development work (in
> particular for your compiler) then anyone trying to use it is likely
> to bump in to problems. It's not that there are technical advantages
> of self-compilation, but it is a good statement of faith from the
> compiler author.
> Anyway, I think the Haskell community needs more compilers, so I wish
> you lots of luck with JHC!
> Thanks, Neil
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