[ Announcements of minor releases are normally just sent to
  the glasgow-haskell-users mailing list, but since this release
  includes support for pattern guards, I thought I'd forward
  to the Haskell list as well. Apologies to the g-h-u crowd
  who will probably see this blurb twice.  -- Sigbjorn ]
        The Glasgow Haskell Compiler -- version 2.04

We are pleased to announce a new release of the Glasgow Haskell
Compiler (GHC), version 2.04. A source distribution is freely
available via the World-Wide Web and through anon. FTP; details

Haskell is "the" standard lazy functional programming language; the
current language version is 1.4, agreed in April, 1997.  Haskell
related information is available from the Haskell home page at:


+ What's new

Release 2.04 represent work done through May '97; highlights include:

 * Data constructors can now have polymorphic fields, and ordinary
   functions can have polymorphic arguments.  Details on


   Existential types coming, but not done yet.

 * Pattern guards implemented, see

 * Compiler can now compile itself (i.e., no real dependence on
   the Haskell 1.2 compiler anymore (version 0.29)). The release has
   only be tested with 2.03 and 0.29, not 2.02. 

 * Faster compilation
   Compilation speeds has improved since 2.02, although it is still slower
   than the Good Old Compiler, GHC-0.29. (the gap is narrowing, though!)
 * Code quality is better, the simplifier and inlining machinery has been
   refurbished. Not sure how much better.

 * powerpc-ibm-aix is now a supported GHC platform, due to the 
   Heroic Efforts of Andr\'e Santos <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>.

 * It has been tested against a large suite of (mostly) Haskell 1.2
   programs (the NoFib suite). A fair chunk of bugs has been fixed.

 * A couple of Haskell 1.4 features are still incompletely supported,
   notably polymorphic strictness annotations, and Unicode.

Please see the release notes for a complete discussion of What's New.

+ Mailing lists

We run mailing lists for GHC users and bug reports; to subscribe, send
mail to [EMAIL PROTECTED]; the msg body should be:

    subscribe glasgow-haskell-<which> Your Name <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>

Please send bug reports about GHC to [EMAIL PROTECTED];
GHC users hang out on [EMAIL PROTECTED]

+ On-line GHC-related resources

Relevant URLs on the World-Wide Web:

GHC home page             http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/fp/software/ghc/
Haskell home page         http://haskell.org/
Glasgow FP group page     http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/fp/
comp.lang.functional FAQ  http://www.cs.nott.ac.uk/Department/Staff/mpj/faq.html

+ How to get it

The easy way is to go to the WWW GHC distribution page, which should
be self-explanatory:


Once you have the distribution, please follow the pointers in the
README file to find all of the documentation about this release.  NB:
preserve modification times when un-tarring the files (no `m' option
for tar, please)!

+ System requirements

To compile up this source-only release, you need a machine with 16+MB
memory, GNU C (`gcc'), `perl' plus a version of GHC installed (either
version 0.29 or 2.02/2.03). We have seen GHC work on these platforms:

  * alpha-dec-osf2
  * hppa1.1-hp-hpux{9,10}
  * sparc-sun-{sunos4,solaris2}
  * mips-sgi-irix{5,6}
  * i386-unknown-{linux,solaris2,freebsd,cygwin32}.
  * powerpc-ibm-aix

Similar platforms should work with minimal hacking effort.  The installer's
guide included in distribution gives a complete run-down of what-ports-work;
an on-line version can be found at



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