[Haskell] modern language design, stone age tools

Simon Marlow simonmar at microsoft.com
Wed Jun 23 05:23:01 EDT 2004

On 23 June 2004 09:27, Robert Ennals wrote:

> I wrote such a debugger as part of my PhD work. It is called
> "hsdebug" and you can read the Haskell Workshop paper on it here:
> http://www.cambridge.intel-research.net/~rennals/hw2003.pdf
> Unfortunately, HsDebug depends on Optimistic Evaluation, and it seems
> unlikely that Optimistic Evaluation will appear in a release version
> of GHC (too hard to maintain, and I've gone off to work for Intel
> Research). 
> HsDebug is a GDB-style debugger which takes advantage of the fact that
> Optimistic Evaluation makes programs evaluate in a largely-strict
> evaluation order. It also uses a trick called "transient tail frames"
> to allow tail calls to be visible in stack traces.
> HsDebug can debug any GHC-compilable Haskell program, including GHC
> itself. 

We would be delighted if someone would take Robert's hsdebug and port it
to the non-speculative version of the compiler.  In fact, this is one of
the items on the GHC Task list:


It would make a great student project, or a summer hack for someone with
lots of spare time...


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