ANNOUNCE: GHC 5.03.20020204 snapshot release

Julian Seward (Intl Vendor)
Tue, 5 Feb 2002 06:36:48 -0800

There have been a number of significant improvements made to GHC=20
since the 5.02 sources were branched off the main GHC development=20
tree, but we're not quite ready to make a full 5.04 release yet. =20
However, we're keen to get feedback on the new features from people
that don't have easy access to CVS or don't have the time & patience
to build GHC from scratch, so we're making a snapshot release of the
current GHC, in source and binary form.

There are NO GUARANTEES as to the stability of this release, although
we do know it has passed our basic three-stage bootstrap test and run
the regression tests successfully.  In some cases the documentation
hasn't been fully updated to reflect the new features yet.

Briefly, the changes relative to 5.02.2 are:

   - The type system now supports arbitrary rank polymorphism,
     given appropriate type annotations.

   - Heap profiling has had a major overhaul and now supports
     retainer profiling and biographical profiling ala nhc98.

   - Major improvements to the native code generators. You can now=20
     compile any and all code through them, including the Prelude.=20

   - The FFI syntax has been updated to match the latest version
     of the FFI Haskell 98 Addendum.

   - newtypes support deriving *any* class for which the
     underlying type is also an instance.

   - Linear implicit parameters: a highly experimental feature.

   - GHCi has several new commands:=20
	- ':show bindings' to list the bindings made on the command
	- ':show modules' to show which modules are loaded,
	- ':module' has been enhanced as per the discussion on the
         mailing list (syntax is still experimental - feedback
	- ':browse'  similar to Hugs' :browse command.

And many other minor changes & bugfixes.

At the moment there is just the sources and a binary build for=20
x86-linux available.  We may add builds for other if they become=20

You can get it from


The GHC Development Team.