proposal: standardize interface to Haskell' implementations

John Meacham john at
Tue Feb 14 16:00:14 EST 2006

On Mon, Feb 13, 2006 at 10:05:00AM -0500, Jan-Willem Maessen wrote:
> I agree strongly with the need for a standard parser/AST/typechecker  
> to enable tools and extensions.  That's why Fortress contains an AST  
> specification!  So naturally I'd love it if Haskell had one, too.  It  
> should probably include:
>   * Parser
>   * Standard AST types (which might be extended in particular  
> implementations)
>   * Type checker which produces a decorated AST (again, extended in  
> particular implementations)
>   * A renamer turns out to be awfully useful/necessary; this raises  
> the sticky question of how imports are specified.  It'd be nice *not*  
> to have to dredge up the old .hi files, as they tended to require  
> compilers to extend the .hi format in really non-standard ways.

This seems like it would be a useful portable library, and it is
something I hoped to spin off of jhc.  but probably not the sort of
thing that should go into a language specification. There is a world of
difference between libraries that are part of the language spec and
libraries that are portable. There is nothing that particularly depends
on an implementation here anyway. ghc can compile jhc's type checker and
use it just fine for instance obviously. a portable type checking AST
library is completly possible.


John Meacham - ⑆⑆john⑈

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