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Haddock/Development ideas

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There would be a number of benefits if GHC's parser were extended to understand the Haddock documentation markup and then Haddock changed to use the GHC API:

  • Haddock would get full support for GHC's various syntactic extensions.
  • Haddock would understand {#- LINE -#} pragmas which would allow it to generate links to the original source code.
  • Haddock would get much better error messages.
  • Haddock could infer types for functions with no explicit type signature.
  • GHCi and IDEs like hIDE and Visual Haskell would be able to display API documentation in more convenient ways like in this Haste screenshot:

Haste screenshot hovering.png

  • Haddock could accept module parameters with space after "-- #" ("-- #hide" is accepted nowadays, but "-- # hide" not)
  • It would be good to have a recursive flag that would operate on all the .hs and .lhs files under a single directory.
  • It would be nice if haddock is able to parse more user defined operators like (#).
  • Haddock should emit the documentation about instances. For example, it's important to document that the Data.Map instance of Foldable only folds over the values and not the keys.
  • There should be an annotation to include a function's entire definition in the documentation. This would be useful for functions like
    (.)
    and
    mapM
    where the definition is the clearest possible documentation, and for QuickCheck properties that specify the behavior of a library.