Hadrian is on the way

Hadrian, a new build system for GHC that we have been working on for the past three years, has finally been merged into the GHC tree (update: we have temporally switched to a submodule). However it’s not yet time to celebrate — there are still many issues that need to be addressed before the Make-based build system may retire.

Want to try? Checkout the GHC repository and run hadrian/build.sh -j or hadrian/build.bat -j on Windows and it should build you a GHC binary. In case of problems, have a look at the README and/or raise an issue.

Here is a quick update on the on-going development:

  • Hadrian can build GHC and can already be used as part of the CI infrastructure. However, the resulting binary does not pass the validation. Zhen Zhang is looking into this, but more help is needed.
  • A major refactoring by Moritz Angermann is on the way. Moritz is primarily interested in cross compilation, but to make it work he had to get rid of the ghc-cabal utility, reorganise the build tree, and make numerous other improvements to Hadrian.
  • There is currently no support for binary distribution. Ben Gamari is looking into this issue.
  • Dynamic linking on Windows is not implemented. Tamar Christina has kindly offered help with this.
  • Hadrian source code is still not fully documented and tested, and generally requires some polishing. I am currently taking care of this when not distracted by urgent bug fixes and will appreciate your help in making Hadrian easier to understand and use.

I can’t believe that we seem to approach the finish line! It’s been a long, tedious but also interesting project. Thank you all for helping us get this far, and I hope we’ll celebrate the switch from Make to Hadrian soon.

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