[Haskell-cafe] ghc-mod and IDE / plugin integration

JP Moresmau jpmoresmau at gmail.com
Wed Oct 14 08:19:42 UTC 2015

ide-backend (https://github.com/fpco/ide-backend) provides a JSON layer (
https://github.com/commercialhaskell/stack-ide). I haven't tried it, since
it requires stack and it's asking me to install the latest GHC 7.10.2
(sorry, I just wanted to have a look at the API, not reinstall a complete
Haskell stack again), but maybe there are some good ideas there.
But before talking about API, shouldn't we talk about why we have ghc-mod
and ide-backend? Can we merge them, or be clear what are their differences
and when/why we should use one and not the other? We don't have
fragmentation at the compiler level itself (with the dominance of GHC) but
we seem to have some at the "nicer API on top of GHC" level.
Or maybe, should we have something in GHC itself, something like a GHC
service that we could talk to via JSON or something, without having to use
the complex, changing with each release GHC API, and have that part of GHC
instead of having another tool to install?

My 2 cents,


On Tue, Oct 13, 2015 at 9:55 PM, Alan & Kim Zimmerman <alan.zimm at gmail.com>

> Historically ghc-mod provided (and still does) support for emacs and vim
> as part of its distribution.
> It is also used by a number of other IDE backends to provide a way of
> getting information about a project without worrying too much about the
> details of how the project is organised on the file system.
> There is currently a discussion between various interested parties about
> adjusting the way ghc-mod communicates with the IDE, to make it simpler to
> provide this support for other environments.
> This should end up with a definition of a protocol that ghc-mod can
> expose, which should also allow tools (such as HaRe) to be plugged into it,
> so that IDE integration can be handled by the various IDE integrators in a
> clean, common way.
> This is all just hand waving at the moment, so if anyone would like to get
> involved I am proposing that we revive the "Haskell IDE implementation"[1]
> google group/mailing list to host the discussion.
> The new design is/will be captured here [2]
> Regards
>   Alan
> [1] https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/haskell-ide
> [2] https://github.com/kazu-yamamoto/ghc-mod/wiki/Library-API-Redesign
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JP Moresmau
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