[Haskell-cafe] Best way to build a GHC backend?

Brent Yorgey byorgey at seas.upenn.edu
Mon Jul 9 16:38:49 CEST 2012

On Sun, Jul 08, 2012 at 09:21:08AM -0600, Jonathan Geddes wrote:
> I agree that the Raison d'être for a .NET or JVM backend is interop.
> Perhaps that's not worth the effort of an entirely new backend. JavaScript
> is a different beast, however.  I said before:
> >From my point of view, languages that cannot run on one of the 3
> > aforementioned platforms will become irrelevant. (with the exception of
> C,
> > of course).
> I'll take that one step further and say that for web applications it is
> becoming increasingly difficult to justify using a language that WILL NOT
> run both client and server. JavaScript (with NodeJS), Clojure (with
> ClojureScript), and Dart are just a few examples.
> I really believe that with a solid JavaScript backend, Haskell would be an
> ideal web application language. Am I alone in that belief? What can I do to
> get the ball rolling on that?

I should point out that the ball already IS rolling -- ranging from
EDSLs that compile to JavaScript [1,2] to macro systems [3] to more
serious full-featured efforts [4,5].  There's even a wiki page listing
all these and more [6].  The yesod developers share your view that
Haskell would benefit from some sort of JavaScript backend; see [7] as
well as the ensuing discussion on Reddit [8]. See also Elm [9], which
compiles to HTML+CSS+JavaScript and has some Haskell integration [10].

Rather than trying to start yet another effort, what about
contributing to one of these ongoing ones?


[1] http://www.ittc.ku.edu/csdlblog/?p=88
[2] http://www.ittc.ku.edu/csdl/fpg/node/125
[3] http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/JMacro
[4] http://uu-computerscience.github.com/uhc-js/
[5] https://github.com/ghcjs/ghcjs
[6] http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/The_JavaScript_Problem
[7] http://www.yesodweb.com/blog/2012/04/client-side
[8] http://www.reddit.com/r/haskell/comments/sm72n/client_side_yesod_an_frpinspired_approach/
[9] http://elm-lang.org/
[10] http://www.reddit.com/r/haskell/comments/uugne/announcing_elm_02_haskell_integration_yesod/

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