wiki:ProjectSuggestions

Version 16 (modified by simonmar, 3 years ago) (diff)

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Suggestions for projects related to GHC

Here are some suggestions for projects related to GHC that could be undertaken by an intern or undergraduate project student. There are also lots of ideas in


Projects that should be within reach of a good undergraduate

  • Improve parallel profiling tools. Satnam Singh and Simon Marlow have made a start on some tools for visualising the behaviour of parallel programs, but there is much more to do here, and it'll be eagerly adopted by users.
  • Implement some low-level C-- optimisations. During 2009 we expect to have the new C-- code generation route in place, and that will open up new opportunities for doing classic compiler-course optimisations on the imperative C-- code. There is more than routine stuff here, because we can use our generic dataflow framework to do the heavy lifting. Here are some particular ideas for optimisations we'd like to implement.

More ambitious or less-well-defined projects (PhD students / Interns)

Programming environment and tools

Turning GHC into a platform

Projects aimed at making GHC into a user-extensible plug-in platform, and less of a monolithic compiler.

  • Allow much finer and more modular control over the way in which rewrite rules and inlining directives are ordered. See this email thread

Types

  • Allow unboxed tuples as function arguments. Currently unboxed tuples are second class; fixing this would be a nice simplification.
  • Extend kinds beyond * and k1->k2. With GADTs etc we clearly want to have kinds like Nat, so that advanced hackery at the type level can be done in a typed language; currently it's all effectively untyped. A neat approach would be to re-use any data type declaration as a kind declaration.
  • Extensible constraint domains. Andrew Kennedy shows how to incorporate dimensional analysis into an ML-like type system. Maybe we could do an extensible version of this, so that it wasn't restricted to dimensions. Integer arithmetic is another obvious domain.
  • #788
    Implement class aliases and/or constraint synonyms

Runtime system

  • Incremental or concurrent GC, for reducing pause-times. Perhaps via implementing mark-region GC in the old generation.
  • Improvements to ThreadScope: incorporate performance-counter events, visualise more runtime events, include source-code information in the profile.

Packages

  • A package API tool.
  • fixed package ABIs for binary-upgradable packages.

Just Hacking

Projects for people who want a decent-sized hacking project, with less research content.

Compiler

  • #602
    Warning Suppression

  • Whole-program dead-code detection (with --make).
  • Whole-program overloading elimination (with --make).
  • Evolve a better ordering for the optimisation passes using Acovea.
  • #1341
    allow loading partially correct modules

  • #2979
    better support for FFI C wrappers for macros in system headers

Build system

  • #989
    Windows "native" port

Runtime system

  • #599
    The Front Panel

  • #603
    GC-spy connection

Tools