genBits: small addition to random API + largely new implementation that needs code review

Ian Lynagh igloo at
Tue Jun 28 22:42:32 CEST 2011

On Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 02:58:00PM -0400, Ryan Newton wrote:
> So it seems random was due for an overhaul.  I would like to initiate a
> discussion period to talk about what changes should happen before the next
> major release.  I think this is timely because there is *already* a pending
> backwards-incompatible change in the API (factoring out the SplittableGen
> class) <>.  We might as well
> make any other fixes now and make all the changes at once.

I believe the only reason we're shipping random with ghc is that
haskell98 and haskell2010 depend on it.

Perhaps we should fork random as old-random, only ship old-random (i.e.
stop shipping random), but mark old-random as not maintained and
encourage people to use random instead?

That would make it a lot easier to make substantive changes to the
random package, as we wouldn't have to keep adding compatibility hacks
for the H98 and H2010 random libraries.

This would probably imply the next Haskell' release not specifying

Any thoughts?


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