[darcs-users] Other Haskell implementations?

Bennett Todd bet at rahul.net
Fri May 14 19:22:49 UTC 2004

Note: I'm shuffling the order of my responses, since the bulk of
this reply is off-topic for darcs-users, but might possibly be of
interest to some.

2004-05-14T18:43:26 David Brown:
> > Looking at the implementations page at www.haskell.org, there
> > seem to be some alternative implementations, and in particular
> > nhc98 looks a lot closer to my tastes.
> You'll probably find that darcs takes advantage of some extensions
> to Haskell that have since been made.

Understandable, certainly, but if the code quality / performance /
maintainability / ... of darcs could be preserved while making it
portable to other Haskell implementations, and if the amount of work
involved weren't too great, that might possibly be beneficial.

If this seems feasable I'd be willing to take a stab at learning
Haskell to try and do the work.

Re Hugs, from the brief description on the haskell.org web page it
doesn't look like it'd produce standalone executables. Call me a
curmugeon but I like them in really critical tools.

> What system are you running?  GHC takes a while to build, but then
> again, so does GCC.

GHC is orders of magnitude bigger and slower to build than gcc. I
build gcc in an hour or two, dunno, haven't bothered paying
attention, far less than my workstation's normal uptime and it's
small enough that the machine remains completely useable throughout
the process.

GHC, on the other hand, I've given as long as 8 hours (the longest
uninterrupted stretch I've had so far, the weekend will be longer)
without it completing. I develop on a Vaio Picturebook, it has 128MB
RAM and a 660MHz Transmeta Crusoe CPU. Super for everything I've
done to day, woefully inadequate for GHC.

In terms of space, each of the zillions of GHC invocations seems to
spike up to 30MB or so, and the periodic find ...|xargs ar ... roars
up to 270MB VM, over 90MB RSS. I added a bunch of extra swap and
it's stopped crashing during the [attempted] build, at least so far,
but the machine becomes pretty much unusable each time it hits one
of those ar points.

BTW, my platform is a custom Linux build, statically linking
everything, with uClibc.

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