Casual Hacking With stack, Reloaded
February 26, 2017
It has been quite a while since I wrote about how to use stack for casual play outside of the context of a conventional Haskell project. In the meantime, stack has gained a feature called the global project which in many cases makes it possible to do quick experiments with essentially no setup, while still taking advantage of the infrastructure provided through stack.
The global project consists of a
stack.yaml file and an associated
.stack-work directory, which are kept in
~/.stack/global-project and are used by stack whenever there is no other
stack.yaml lying around. The
stack.yaml of the global project specifies a resolver, just like any other
stack.yaml. If said resolver is a snapshot you use elsewhere, you get access to all packages you have installed from that snapshot with zero configuration.
$ pwd /home/duplode $ ls -lrt | grep stack.yaml $ stack ghci Configuring GHCi with the following packages: GHCi, version 8.0.1: http://www.haskell.org/ghc/ :? for help Loaded GHCi configuration from /home/duplode/.ghci Loaded GHCi configuration from /tmp/ghci22741/ghci-script GHCi> import Control.Lens GHCi> (1,2) ^. _1 1
By the way, this also holds for the stack-powered Intero Emacs mode, which makes it possible to simply open a new
*.hs file anywhere and immediately start hacking away.
What about packages you didn’t install beforehand? They are no problem, thanks to the
--package option of
stack ghci, which allows installing snapshot packages at a whim.
$ stack ghci --package fmlist fmlist-0.9: download fmlist-0.9: configure fmlist-0.9: build fmlist-0.9: copy/register Configuring GHCi with the following packages: GHCi, version 8.0.1: http://www.haskell.org/ghc/ :? for help Loaded GHCi configuration from /home/duplode/.ghci Loaded GHCi configuration from /tmp/ghci22828/ghci-script GHCi> import qualified Data.FMList as FM GHCi> FM.foldMapA (\x -> show <$> [0..x]) [0..3] ["0000","0001","0002","0003","0010","0011","0012","0013","0020","0021", "0022","0023","0100","0101","0102","0103","0110","0111","0112","0113", "0120","0121","0122","0123"]
One caveat is that
--package won’t install packages outside of the snapshot on its own, so you have to add them to the
extra-deps field of the global project’s
stack.yaml beforehand, just like you would do for an actual project. If you need several non-Stackage packages, you may find it convenient to create a throwaway project for the sole purpose of letting
stack solver figure out the necessary
extra-deps for you.
$ mkdir throwaway $ stack new throwaway --resolver lts-7.14 # Same resolver of the global project. # ... Writing configuration to file: throwaway/stack.yaml All done. $ cd throwaway $ vi throwaway.cabal # Let's add reactive-banana to the dependencies. $ stack solver # ... Successfully determined a build plan with 2 external dependencies. The following changes will be made to stack.yaml: * Dependencies to be added extra-deps: - pqueue-1.3.2 - reactive-banana-188.8.131.52 To automatically update stack.yaml, rerun with '--update-config' $ vi ~/.stack/global-project/stack.yaml # Add the packages to the extra-deps. $ cd .. $ rm -rf throwaway/ $ stack ghci --package reactive-banana pqueue-1.3.2: configure pqueue-1.3.2: build pqueue-1.3.2: copy/register reactive-banana-184.108.40.206: configure reactive-banana-220.127.116.11: build reactive-banana-18.104.22.168: copy/register Completed 2 action(s). Configuring GHCi with the following packages: GHCi, version 8.0.1: http://www.haskell.org/ghc/ :? for help Loaded GHCi configuration from /home/duplode/.ghci Loaded GHCi configuration from /tmp/ghci23103/ghci-script GHCi> import Reactive.Banana GHCi> :t stepper stepper :: MonadMoment m => a -> Event a -> m (Behavior a)
Support for running
stack solver directly with the global project is on the horizon.
There are also interesting possibilities if you need to compile your throwaway code. That might be useful, for instance, if you ever feel like testing a hypothesis with a criterion benchmark). While there is a
stack ghc command, if you don’t need GHC profiles then taking advantage of
--ghci-options to enable
stack ghci can be a more pleasant alternative.
$ stack ghci --ghci-options "-O2 -fobject-code" Configuring GHCi with the following packages: GHCi, version 8.0.1: http://www.haskell.org/ghc/ :? for help Loaded GHCi configuration from /home/duplode/.ghci Loaded GHCi configuration from /tmp/ghci23628/ghci-script GHCi> :l Foo.hs [1 of 1] Compiling Foo ( Foo.hs, /home/duplode/.stack/global-project/.stack-work/odir/Foo.o ) Ok, modules loaded: Foo (/home/duplode/.stack/global-project/.stack-work/odir/Foo.o). GHCi> :main A random number for you: 2045528912275320075
A nice little thing about this approach is that the build artifacts are kept in the global project’s
.stack-work, which means they won’t pollute whichever other directory you happen to be at.
-fobject-code means you can’t write definitions directly on the GHCi prompt; however, that is not much of a nuisance, given that you are compiling the code anyway, and that the source file is just a
:!vim Foo.hs away.
While in these notes I have focused on seat-of-the-pants experimentation, stack also provides tools for running Haskell code with minimal configuration in a more controlled manner. I specially recommend having a look at the script interpreter section of the stack User Guide.
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