GHC Weekly News - 2015/01/07

Hi *, it's time for another GHC Weekly News! This week's edition will actually be covering the last two/three weeks; your editor has missed the past few editions due to Holiday madness (and also some relaxation, which is not madness). It's also our first news posting in 2015!

So let's get going without any further delay!

GHC HQ met this week after the Christmas break; some of our notes include:

  • Since Austin is back, he'll be spending some time finishing up all the remaining binary distributions for GHC 7.8.4 and GHC 7.10.1 RC1 (mostly, FreeBSD and OS X builds).
  • We've found that 7.10.1 RC1 is working surprisingly well for users so far; to help users accomodate the changes, Herbert has conveniently written a migration guide for users for their most common problems when upgrading to 7.10.1: https://ghc.haskell.org/trac/ghc/wiki/Migration/7.10
  • We're aiming to release the 2nd Release Candidate for GHC 7.10.1 on January 19th. We're hoping this will be the last RC, with 7.10.1 final popping up in the middle of February.
  • GHC HQ may tentatively be working to release another GHC 7.8 release, but only for a specific purpose: to allow it to compile with 7.10.1. This will make it significantly easier for users to compile old GHCs (perhaps on newer platforms). However, we're not yet 100% decided on this, and we will likely only do a 'very minor release' of the source tarball, should this be the case. Thanks to Edward Yang for helping with this.
  • For future GHC releases on Windows, we're looking into adopting Neil Mitchell's new binary distribution of GHC, which is a nice installer that includes Cabal, MSYS and GHC. This should significantly lower the burden for Windows users to use GHC and update, ship or create packages. While we're not 100% sure we'll be able to have it ready for 7.10.1, it looks promising. Thanks Neil! (For more info, read Neil's blog post here: http://neilmitchell.blogspot.co.at/2014/12/beta-testing-windows-minimal-ghc.html )

There's also been some movement and chatter on the mailing lists, as usual.

  • Joachim Breitner made an exciting announcement: he's working on a new performance dashboard for GHC, so we can more easily track and look at performance results over time. The current prototype looks great, and Joachim and Austin are working together to make this an official piece of GHC's infrastructure: https://www.haskell.org/pipermail/ghc-devs/2015-January/007885.html
  • Over the holiday, Simon went and implemented a nice new feature for GHC: detection of redundant constraints. This means if you mention Ord in a type signature, but actually use nothing which requires that constraint, GHC can properly warn about it. This will be going into 7.12: https://www.haskell.org/pipermail/ghc-devs/2015-January/007892.html
  • Now that GHC 7.10 will feature support for DWARF based debugging information, Johan Tibell opened a very obvious discussion thread: what should we do about shipping GHC and its libraries with debug support? Peter chimed in with some notes - hopefully this will all be sorted out in time for 7.10.1 proper: https://www.haskell.org/pipermail/ghc-devs/2015-January/007851.html

Closed tickets the past few weeks include: #8984, #9880, #9732, #9783, #9575, #9860, #9316, #9845, #9913, #9909, #8650, #9881, #9919, #9732, #9783, #9915, #9914, #9751, #9744, #9879, #9876, #9032, #7473, #9764, #9067, #9852, #9847, #9891, #8909, #9954, #9508, #9586, and #9939.

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