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Helium is a functional programming language (a subset of Haskell) and a compiler designed especially for teaching. The main developers and initiators are Arjan van IJzendoorn, Rijk Jan van Haaften, Bastiaan Heeren and Daan Leijen. Currently, Jurriaan Hage, and Bastiaan Heeren maintain the compiler and associated tools. For more information about Helium contact us.

On August 2, 2014, we first uploaded cabal installs for the packages that make up the Helium compiler to Hackage. This means that you can install the latest version of Helium by running

cabal install helium
cabal install lvmrun

The former of the two is the compiler (which will probably install a few more packages, like Top and lvmlib), the second is the run-time. You can then test the installation by running the program texthint and evaluating a few expressions. The system is known to install with GHC 7.6.3 and GHC 7.8.x.

Other kinds of downloads are not supported anymore, and we advise against using them.


Helium 1.8.1 and higher again have support to work with the graphical Java-based programming environment Hint, originally developed by Arie Middelkoop.

Download the Hint 1.8.1 jar file

The program can be run from the command line in the usual way
   java -jar Hint-1.8.1.jar

Of course, you must have the Java runtime installed on the system. Note that you need Hint version 1.8.1 or higher for this to work.

Hint is not available through Hackage. The sources of Hint are publicly available from the svn repository that also stores the source code of the Helium compiler and all associated tools.

Beyond the standard distributions

All software associated with Helium is available from a publicly available svn repository at, in particular the repositories

These source distributions are to be used at your own risk.

Plans for the future

  • check documentation consistency
  • performance bug fix type inferencer
  • add type classes in full

If you think you can do something for us on the above, please contact us.

Topic revision: r30 - 14 Apr 2015, JurriaanHage

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