[Haskell-cafe] Officially supported Android backend, GSoC?
ivan.perez at keera.co.uk
Mon Feb 9 07:56:56 UTC 2015
For the past few years I have done quite a lot of work in functional
languages targeting mobile platforms. I've tried every functional
language I could find.
GHC targets Android via Neurocyte's (and JoeyH's) backend , although,
afaik, this is not officially supported. There have been recent
discussions on strategies to improve the current state, especially wrt. TH.
Nevertheless, the progress is amazing and the backend works very well. I
haven't found any major bugs. We've successfully used this at Keera
Studios to write multiple games [2,3,4], and I've also written small
applications for Google Glass (yes, Haskell works on Glass!). Users are
running the games on different Android devices (with different hardware
and OS version), and none of them has reported any (ghc-related) bugs so
Haskell's ability to 'write once, run anywhere' could be a major selling
point. Soon Haskell might become one of the very few functional
languages that can target any platform, be it web, desktop or mobile,
with minimal changes to the codebase (F# can do all of this; but, apart
from language differences, developing and deploying software for Android
is not free as in beer).
So, I'd like to ask:
1) Does officially supporting the Android backend sound like a
(strategically) reasonable and viable idea?
2) What would it take? Could a Google Summer of Code project help get
things up to speed? (The project proposal deadline is probably very soon.)
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