Commit 69201230 authored by simonmar's avatar simonmar
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[project @ 2002-01-30 17:19:15 by simonmar]

Add a short section on modules & packages.
parent dd214d28
...@@ -49,6 +49,7 @@ ...@@ -49,6 +49,7 @@
<li><a href="the-beast/prelude.html">Primitives and the Prelude</a> <li><a href="the-beast/prelude.html">Primitives and the Prelude</a>
<li><a href="the-beast/syntax.html">Just Syntax</a> <li><a href="the-beast/syntax.html">Just Syntax</a>
<li><a href="the-beast/basicTypes.html">The Basics</a> <li><a href="the-beast/basicTypes.html">The Basics</a>
<li><a href="the-beast/modules.html">Modules, ModuleNames and Packages</a>
<li><a href="the-beast/vars.html">The Real Story about Variables, Ids, TyVars, and the like</a> <li><a href="the-beast/vars.html">The Real Story about Variables, Ids, TyVars, and the like</a>
<li><a href="the-beast/typecheck.html">Checking Types</a> <li><a href="the-beast/typecheck.html">Checking Types</a>
<li><a href="the-beast/desugar.html">Sugar Free: From Haskell To Core</a> <li><a href="the-beast/desugar.html">Sugar Free: From Haskell To Core</a>
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" CONTENT="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1">
<title>The GHC Commentary - Modules, ModuleNames and Packages</title>
<h1>Modules, ModuleNames and Packages</h1>
<p>This section describes the datatypes <code>ModuleName</code>
<code>Module</code> and <code>PackageName</code> all available
from the module <a
<p>A package is a collection of (zero or more) Haskell modules,
together with some information about external libraries, extra C
compiler options, and other things that this collection of modules
requires. When using DLLs on windows (or shared libraries on a
Unix system; currently unsupported), a package can consist of only
a single shared library of Haskell code; the reason for this is
described below.
<p>Packages are further described in the User's Guide <a
<h2>The ModuleName type</h2>
<p>At the bottom of the hierarchy is a <code>ModuleName</code>,
which, as its name suggests, is simply the name of a module. It
is represented as a Z-encoded FastString, and is an instance of
<code>Uniquable</code> so we can build <code>FiniteMap</code>s
with <code>ModuleName</code>s as the keys.
<p>A <code>ModuleName</code> can be built from a
<code>String</code>, using the <code>mkModuleName</code> function.
<h2>The Module type</h2>
<p>For a given module, the compiler also needs to know whether the
module is in the <em>home package</em>, or in another package.
This distinction is important for two reasons:
<li><p>When generating code to call a function in another package,
the compiler might have to generate a cross-DLL call, which is
different from an intra-DLL call (hence the restriction that the
code in a package can only reside in a single DLL).
<li><p>We avoid putting version information in an interface file
for entities defined in another package, on the grounds that other
packages are generally "stable". This also helps keep the size of
interface files down.
<p>The <code>Module</code> type contains a <code>ModuleName</code>
and a <code>PackageInfo</code> field. The
<code>PackageInfo</code> indicates whether the given
<code>Module</code> comes from the current package or from another
<p>To get the actual package in which a given module resides, you
have to read the interface file for that module, which contains
the package name (actually the value of the
<code>-package-name</code> flag when that module was built). This
information is currently unused inside the compiler, but we might
make use of it in the future, especially with the advent of
hierarchical modules, to allow the compiler to automatically
figure out which packages a program should be linked with, and
thus avoid the need to specify <code>-package</code> options on
the command line.
<p><code>Module</code>s are also instances of
<code>Uniquable</code>, and indeed the unique of a
<code>Module</code> is the same as the unique of the underlying
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