Cross Compilation Survey Results

About two weeks ago together with obsidian.systems, we asked about cross compiling haskell and 229 people responded to our survey.

The majority (85%) noted that they would like to use GHC as a cross compiler but do not yet. The targets for cross compilation are arm (66%), aarch64 (64%) and x86_64 (42%) for android (62%), linux (60%) and iOS (43%).

Build architecture is almost exclusively x86_64 (98%), with linux (82%) being twice as popular as macOS (38%), and windows a third at (16%).

Onto the reasons for not using GHC as a cross compiler. With lack of clear instructions (80%), and building the cross compiler is too hard (60%), a clear lack of documentation is showing. In addition to the lack of Template Haskell (27%), there were also a number of other reasons mentioned (13%), ranging from debugging, through specific bugs in libraries, to better tooling support.

The Other thoughts question received 40 distinct answers. With offers to help, mentioning of existing approaches (ghc-ios, ghc-cross-compiler-windows-x86, HaLVM), additional features (nix), and experience reports.

If you want to get involved (please do!), send us an email!

The results confirm that what we have been working on (Template Haskell and Tooling) aligns with the needs of the community (or at least those who participated in the survey). It also highlights the need for better documentation, which we will try to address as well (e.g. see Building iconv for android).

Follow us on medium, github, twitter, and subscribe to the mailing list.

Written by

making mobile haskell awesome!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store