[Haskell-cafe] GHC for mobile devices?

Kristopher Micinski krismicinski at gmail.com
Sat Nov 10 23:49:38 CET 2012

On Sat, Nov 10, 2012 at 3:50 PM, Casey Basichis <caseybasichis at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Kris,
> No offense taken, it was an argument that works to shut down constructive
> discussion of how to get Haskell running on mobile, a task which has
> perplexed me for several long days.  I agree most apps are pretty terrible,
> at least on iOS though, despite the percentages being wildly off there are
> still a few hundred apps that are very well done and thoughtful, none of
> them using Haskell I'm sure.

Yup!  Most of the time apps are merely "translated" versions of rails
frontends.  (For better or for worse, I assume that if we were to port
haskell to work with Android really it would be mostly to appease my

> I'm looking to pass Haskell lists of musical data and return processed
> musical ideas from it (not audio, not realtime).  I was also planning on
> handling a database within Haskell as the information contained would be
> used by the music processing and from what I have read Haskell interfaces to
> SQL far more readily than with a C++ orm type solution.  I was planning on
> working with Haskells Euterpea as base to build my ideas off of, my I might
> end up rolling my own similar library as my aims are a bit different than
> theirs.

I'm not sure I understand completely, but I agree this isn't a bad idea.

> Everything else would be C++, including the interface, audio and dsp
> processing etc.   I already have the C++ stuff running on my phone.  I have
> read about the difficulty of getting Haskell working in real world
> scenarios, but as far as I understand my plans for it are fairly well suited
> to it.

I don't disagree!

> Since much of the documentation online about Haskell seems to be out of
> date, its tough to get a general feel for whats working.  I see people
> mention that cross-compilation was finished a while back which should allow
> for targeting arm but nothing concrete and the website gives conflicting
> info.  I've also considered using GHC to generate C to paste into the
> project but it seems there have been and may be more integrated ways to get
> it running.

I am venturing into my embarrassing lack of knowledge about GHC
internals here, but how easily would the run time system work on
Android..?  I had assumed a large part of the effort into getting
OCaml to work on iPhone went into the runtime system, no?

If you're (Andrew or anyone) still interested in pursuing this I would
be interested in helping out, I have some Android internals knowledge
and would be glad to lend a hand.

One major thing that seems to be necessary is congealing all the
(mis/outdated)information into the wiki article on haskell.org.


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