Is Haste compiler dead?

For a while I tired to go for GHCJS but its slow to compile and pain to setup. This would be easy if you know nix but currently I have lot to learn Haskell. So looking at Haste now the last commit is in 2019. Will it ever be updated ? I curious on how it would evolve.


Just in case you are interested in alternatives: PureScript shares many features with Haskell, has a nice JS FFI and is quite actively maintained (new version just shipped a few weeks back).

I very much like it - in some cases it’s even better than Haskell (I think most would agree the records are at least).

There is also Elm - which is great for getting into FP, has very nice error-messages and a very active and friendly community but lacks quite a few features and it’s development and direction is not very transparent to all but a few insiders so it seems stale at times.

Personally I really like it to onboard new team-members but I feel it’s to constricting in the long run - especially if you come from Haskell.


I love working with PureScript, it feels cleaner in lots of regards and the library ecosystem and import structure is really clean.

I just want to point out that PureScript not being Haskell, doesn’t allow you to write a Haskell application that covers server and client (the client relying on GHCJS to compile Haskell to Javascript) all in one program. When working with PureScript, I split roles with my fellow developer and every now and then we had to walk through our API between Server and client to make sure that client code (requests) and server code (handlers) match. The compiler can’t help there.

Conversely, I recently finished an Obsidian systems Obelisk project. Obelisk is a mighty framework that uses GHCJS and reflex-frp (and it relies on Nix, too, for the build logic). There I used servant for an API that is kind of guaranteed to be correct, both client-side and server-side, as long as the compiler doesn’t complain.

My main reason to work with obelisk was reflex-frp, though. Unfortunately PureScript doesn’t have that as far as I know.


Very well said.

If you really want or need to tightly share models/api-definition between server and client that is surely the best way to do it (same for doing node.js/js etc.).

Personally I actually like the break - it means you really need the interface to be somewhat stable and well documented between teams/members of your team.

There is a bridge but to be honest I think it’s not really used widely and probably not that well-maintained.

Ultimately I’d love to see Swagger/OpenAPI support for both languages (I know there is something that let’s you generate this from Servant but I think the better way is to start from the OpenAPI Definition and generate clients from there) - maybe some day (or maybe there and I’m ignorant of the fact - if so please let me know :heart_eyes: )


By the way, and slightly off topic, I love PureScript so much that I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn programming. Recommending PureScript over Python might be unorthodox but if it’s about the best learning experience long-term functional programming seems preferable to me. And I would recommend PureScript over Haskell (or other language) for its cleanliness and how easy you can get started.


I can’t answer your question about Haste but I can respond to this:

We are currently working on merging GHCJS’s code generator and runtime system into GHC.
So ultimately it should become as easy to use as normal GHC, be distributed via ghc-up, etc
The latest update about this work is here: GHC April 2022 Update | IOG Engineering

  1. I think you can still technically use purescript for your backend if you choose express or purescript-servant.
  2. If you want a reflex-frp-like framework for PureScript, you can try specular.

yes for small (demo?) stuff purescript with express on node is actually not bad - not sure if I’d really consider this for production though - there are some Mongo bindings but aside from this you’ll probably have to FFI much of the stuff you’ll usually do in the backend

Thanks for the hint for specular - don’t think I’ve noticed that before

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