[Haskell-cafe] Fwd: Problem with loading unix-compat in GHCi on Windows: is suggested solution acceptable?

German Zhivotnikov german.zhivotnikov at gmail.com
Mon Jun 16 11:17:04 UTC 2014

Hi all,

There is a minor problem with unix-compat module on Windows: when one tries
to load it (or the module that depends on it) into GHCi, i.e. in REPL mode,
- GHCi refuses to load unix-compat with a message like that:

unknown symbol 'snprintf' ghc.exe: unable to load package

Note that it only concerns REPL mode: when GHC is building a binary that
uses unix-compat, - it produces correct executable that works fine.

My hypothese is that this is because in typical Win32 build environment
snprintf resides in libmingwex.a, which is static library, which GHCi is
incapable of loading. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

There is a solution - to make unix-compat depend on MSVCRT.DLL (instead of
static mingwex.a) and replace 'snprintf' with Microsoft's '_snprintf' (and
there's also stat/_stat to be replaced). However this introduces at least
new dependency on MSVCRT.DLL, and maybe something else, which might be

Therefore, before accepting the solution into official codebase, it would
be great to have an input - if anyone can foresee possible unintended side
effects from suggested solution for code that depends on unix-compat

Corresponding pull request resides at
https://github.com/jystic/unix-compat/pull/12/files - could you possibly
take a look if you've got something to say on that issue.

Thank you in advance.
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