Saturday November 24th
My first Panic!
Yesterday evening, I got my first Panic in GHC
- Sure, I could gather that it probably had something to do with my version of GHC, but I wanted to know why it panic-ed.
- Between Gabe and Sandy, I learned that it was a mixture of magic Gnomes in the compiler and an old bug that had been fixed in the new version of GHC.
- I liked that even though both of them are wayyyyyy more experienced (many times over) than I am, they were both genuinely curious. They both made me feel like even as someone learning, I had something to contribute.
- Gabe tried it on his version and it worked, and then it worked on my version, so he told me to try to recreate the error. I was able to by removing parts of working code bit by bit to my original code, to determine when exactly it panicked.
It should never panic
- I really liked the experience of my first panic, because it forced me to look under the hood of my favourite programming language :D
- I found this really neat article on debugging GHC’s trace, and how it can be used to make patches / fix bugs. I find that to be fascinating.
- It’s something I’d love to learn, and teach other people how to do, too. Maybe in a little intro talk or something. I’m not an expert, and am only learning (and love to learn) Haskell.
I also read a bunch of papers
- Through the process, it led me to a couple GHC papers, where they spoke about
ambiguous typesand questions that were difficult to resolve.
- I found Chris Done’s post on Data.Typeable, which was pretty fascinating, and GHC’s implementation of static pointers, as well as Jose’s post on Poly-Kinded Typeable
- I downloaded and read a few papers, including Jose’s Thesis, found Mitchell’s collection of papers and a couple others from Microsoft Research on Deriving via. All of that…from one silly n00b question.
Anyways, I guess it’s back to work for me
- When I spend time in Haskell, time just seems to fly by. I’ve found myself saying that if I do my homework in other subjects, I can treat myself by spending time on Haskell. :D I don’t know how that’s going to work out for a life’s work or anything (I might end up living out of a box with a little sign that reads “will do Haskell for food”), but so far it’s certainly been very fulfilling.
Written on November 24, 2018