A .NET Bridge for Haskell

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BSD3 licensed by Andrew Appleyard

Salsa: a .NET bridge for Haskell

Salsa is an experimental Haskell library and code generator that allows
Haskell programs to host the .NET runtime and interact with .NET libraries.
It uses type families extensively to provide a type-safe mapping of the .NET
object model in the Haskell type system.

What's in the package:

* 'Foreign' contains the Haskell library 'Foreign.Salsa'.

This library provides the Haskell-side interface to Salsa, including:
functions to load the .NET runtime into the process, functions for
interacting with .NET classes and objects, and the required type-level
machinery. It works together with the Haskell modules created by the
generator (see below) to provide access to .NET classes and their members.

* 'Driver' contains the Salsa .NET driver assembly (Salsa.dll).

The driver assembly contains .NET code that is loaded automatically by the
Salsa library when the .NET runtime is loaded into the process. It
provides run-time code generation facilities for calling in and out of the
.NET runtime from Haskell. The assembly binary (Salsa.dll) is embedded in
'Foreign\Salsa\Driver.hs' using the 'Embed.hs' utility program.

* 'Generator' contains the Salsa binding generator.

The generator is a C# program that creates Haskell modules from .NET
metadata to provide type-safe access to the requested .NET classes and
methods in .NET assembilies.

Note: the generator requires .NET 3.5 because it uses the 'System.Linq'

* 'Samples' contains a few Haskell programs that use Salsa.

- Hello: a basic console 'Hello World' program.

- Weather: a console program that asynchronously downloads the Sydney
weather forecast and displays it.

- Conway: a simulator for Conway's Game of Life with a Windows
Presentation Foundation GUI. (Requires .NET 3.0 or later.)


* GHC 7.8

Salsa makes use of extensions that have only been available since version
7.8 of GHC.

* Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 / Mono

Since the Generator requires .NET 3.5, any Salsa development also requires
this version. Executables produced with Salsa however will run with just
.NET 2.0 (provided that only .NET 2.0 assemblies are used by the program).

Salsa will not work with versions 1.0/1.1 of the .NET Framework

Building with Mono and running Salsa executables on Mono works. Salsa
will be built with Mono if not running on Windows or the flag 'use_mono'
is used when building with Cabal.


First build the Salsa.dll driver assembly. (See the README file within the 'Driver

Then build an install the Salsa library using Cabal as usual:

cabal install


Andrew Appleyard
Tim Matthews

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