proposal: standardize interface to Haskell' implementations

Neil Mitchell ndmitchell at
Sun Feb 12 17:52:58 EST 2006

> [an innocent question
I know this was me, and various things I do would be a LOT easier if
this standard interface did exist, but I don't think its possible.

To compare GHC, Hugs and Yhc - they have very little in common. Hugs
is written in C, the other two in Haskell, so for a start there is no
easy consistent interface to the bits of them that are required. Hugs
and GHC use Yacc/Happy while Yhc uses parser combinators. GHC has a
really complex type system, while in Yhc its impossible to even figure
out the types by the time you get down to Core. Even the actual stages
in the compiler are different in some places - Yhc has no kind
inference for example.

Because of all this, if you make a standard like this, you basically
dictate a large part of the implementation, and it seems no one wants
to follow the same implementation path...

Maybe, as all the various implementations stabalise and start to
provide some API's, in the future it will be possible to write a
standard library that translates between the various API's and then
you would have a standard interface. Unfortunately, I think thats
still years and years away.

And as someone who uses Ada on a weekly basis, I'm opposed to doing
anything similar to Ada in any way ;)



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