[Haskell-cafe] [ANNOUNCE] GHC 9.6.1-alpha2 is now available

Ben Gamari ben at well-typed.com
Mon Jan 30 18:21:32 UTC 2023

The GHC team is very pleased to announce the availability of GHC
9.6.1-alpha2. As usual, binaries and source distributions are available
at downloads.haskell.org:


Beginning with GHC 9.6.1, GHC can be built as a cross-compiler to
WebAssembly and JavaScript. This is an important step towards robust
support for compiling Haskell to the Web, but there are a few caveats to
be aware of in the 9.6 series:

 - Both the Javascript and WebAssembly backends are still at an early
   stage of development and are present in this release as a technology

 - Using GHC as a cross-compiler is not as easy as we would like it to
   be; in particular, there are challenges related to Template Haskell.

 - GHC is not yet run-time retargetable; a given GHC binary targets
   exactly one platform, and both WebAssembly and JavaScript are
   considered platforms for this purpose. Cross-compilers must be built
   from source by their users

We hope to lift all of these limitations in future releases.

Additionally, 9.6.1 will include:

 - Significant latency improvements in the non-moving garbage collector

 - Efficient runtime support for delimited continuations

 - Improvements in compiler error messages

 - Numerous improvements in the compiler's memory usage

See the [release notes] for a comprehensive accounting of changes in
this release.

As always, one can find a [migration guide] to aid in transitioning from
older releases on the GHC Wiki. We have also recently started extending
our release process to cover a wider set of Linux distributions. In
particular, we now offer Rocky 8 and Ubuntu 20.04 binary distributions
which cover RedHat-derivative and distributions using older `glibc`
releases (namely 2.27), respectively.

Please do give this release a try and open a [ticket] if you see
anything amiss.


- Ben

[ticket]: https://gitlab.haskell.org/ghc/ghc/issues/
[migration-guide]: https://gitlab.haskell.org/ghc/ghc/-/wikis/migration/9.6
[release notes]: https://downloads.haskell.org/ghc/9.6.1-alpha2/docs/users_guide/9.6.1-notes.html
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