[Haskell-cafe] Does this library already exist? template haskell + generate/compile C code + dlopen

Ryan Newton newton at mit.edu
Wed Jun 8 18:58:17 CEST 2011

The Nikola GPU programming system has a very neat, flexible approach to how
you compile the EDSL-generated code.  You can do it dynamically, calling
nvcc at runtime, OR it can play a trick where it calls nvcc at compile time
(via template haskell) and caches the result in a string literal within the
TH-generated Haskell code.

That is a pretty cool trick IMHO.  Moreover, we can do that with any tool
that generates C code or native code, as follows:

At compile time, via Template Haskell:

   1. call tool which creates C code
   2. create temp files and call C compiler
   3. load resulting object file as a bytestring and store it as a string

Then at runtime:

   1. put bytestring back into a file
   2. call dlopen
   3. call dlsym, get FunPtr, voila!

Anyway, I was going to put together a simple library that encapsulates the
above steps.  Such a library could be used, for example, in making this
stencil compiler project <http://people.csail.mit.edu/yuantang/> available
to Haskell users as well as C++ users.  (The compiler is written in Haskell
already anyway!)
   But first I thought I'd ask if this already exists.  Also, is there a
better way to do it?  In particular, is there any way to get static linking
to work, rather than the silliness with strings, tempfiles, and dlopen.

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