The New GHC/Hugs Runtime System

This paper describes the new runtime system being developed for the Glasgow Haskell Compiler. The goal is to provide support for mixed interpreted/compiled execution of Haskell programs, with Hugs as the interpreter. In the process, we’ve taken the opportunity to fix some of the deficiencies of the old system (such as garbage collection of CAFs), add some new features (cost-centre stack profiling, and a more flexible storage manager), and improve performance (one stack instead of two, better register usage on register-challenged architectures).

We also took the opportunity to design a clean, simple API to the runtime system that would allow it to be used in a variety of applications, from standalone Haskell binaries and interactive interpreters to encapsulated COM/CORBA objects.

The paper is now rather out of date, but it may be useful as background information.