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Release plans for GHC 6.12
As usual, we're planning a major release of GHC around September. Here's our list of the main items currently scheduled for 6.12.1, and their status. If you have the time and inclination to help with any of these, please get involved!
- Parallel performance. 6.12.1 will ship with the improvements to parallel performance described in our ICFP 2009 paper. Still to do: overhaul the +RTS GC settings, tune for good performance by default.
- Parallel profiling: the new RTS tracing features will be included, and
we hope to have a release of
ThreadScopeto coincide with GHC 6.12.1.
ThreadScopeis written using gtk2hs, and could benefit from someone with expertise in producing polished gtk2hs apps - if you can lend a hand, contact Satnam Singh <satnams@…>.
- Unicode I/O: the new Unicode I/O library is in, and will ship with 6.12.1. Still to do: decide on the public API for changing encodings and newline conversion.
- Shared libraries: we intend to ship with shared library support on at least x86/Linux and x86-64/Linux. There are various tasks remaining to do here - Duncan, can we have a summary?
- Data Parallel Haskell. Manuel, can you comment on the state of play? What can we expect in time for 6.12.1?
- Plugin support in GHC. The patches are not yet in GHC; they are awaiting review by Simon PJ.
- The new backend code generator. At the moment, it seems unlikely that GHC 6.12.1 will ship with the new code generator enabled by default, although it may well be available for testing. Meanwhile, work on it continues.
The smaller items are all embodied in tickets, here are the tickets currently in the 6.12.1 milestone (135):
and on the 6.12 branch (251):
I estimate there are 2 man years of work here - needless to say, we aren't going to fix all these tickets :) As usual, if you want to vote for something, add your email to the CC field of the ticket.
Several of these tickets would make good tasks for a fledgling GHC hacker. e.g. http://hackage.haskell.org/trac/ghc/ticket/2362 (allow full import syntax in GHCi) has a lot of support, and is a nice self-contained task (but not a small one).
Even if you're not a GHC hacker you can still help, e.g. by helping to narrow down the cause of a bug, or verifying a bug on your platform.
Let me remind people that GHC HEAD has the new build system, and it's actually rather pleasant to work with. Even if you have no idea what you're doing, you can always say 'make' at the top level and the build system will figure out what needs doing (ok, so that's what build systems are supposed to do, but GHC's has never quite managed it until now!).