stack is a new, complete, cross-platform development tool aimed at both new and experienced Haskell developers alike, for installing and setting up the compiler, installing packages needed, and building, testing or benchmarking one or more packages in a project at a time. It's the whole stack.

We developed it in collaboration with the Commercial Haskell Group, with two deliberate goals in mind:

  1. Newbie friendliness, ease of setup and doing the right thing by default. Just get people running with Haskell as conveniently as possible.
  2. Catering to the finer points of serious commercial Haskell development. Supporting the modern use-cases of working on large Haskell projects.

In short, it's a program that you run in a directory with a stack configuration file in it (stack.yaml—automatically created if one doesn't exist). That directory may contain one or many packages inside it to be built. Then there are commands to build, test, install dependencies, run GHC, etc.

Here's a rundown of the advantages stack brings to the table. For both newbies and experienced Haskellers:

For experienced Haskellers, there is support for typical use-cases and subtleties of larger projects:

We first arrived at this tool based on feedback from our clients at FP Complete and have been using this tool in-house ourselves for around a year, in several iterations. This final iteration has had particular focus on ease of use. We were also motivated by the results of the recent Haskell survey.

Feedback from members of the Commercial Haskell Group has been very helpful in shaping the direction of the tool in a positive way and we now open it up, open source, in beta and for the Haskell community as a whole and welcome your contributions, ideas and feedback!

stack is available on Hackage (cabal install stack), as well as binary downloads for Windows, Mac, and Linux, with Ubuntu and Arch packages. Please note that this is a beta release: we anticipate bugs, and will work to quickly resolve them. Please be sure to report issues on the Github issue tracker.

Do you like this blog post and need help with industrial Haskell, Rust or DevOps? Contact us.

Share this