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Re: Roadmap for Guix 1.0

From: George Clemmer
Subject: Re: Roadmap for Guix 1.0
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2018 10:25:35 -0400
User-agent: mu4e 1.0; emacs 26.1

Gábor Boskovits <address@hidden> writes:

> George Clemmer <address@hidden> ezt írta (időpont: 2018. aug. 30., Cs,
> 21:14):
>> Ricardo Wurmus <address@hidden> writes:
>> > Ludovic Courtès <address@hidden> writes:
>> >
>> >> Hello,
>> >>
>> >> I think “Guix System” is OK.
>> >
>> > I think so too.
>> I recommend against renaming GuixSD >> "Guix System". Here is Why:
>> 1) A noob would expect "guix system" to refer to the whole Guix
>> enchilada. If we use it to refer to GuixSD, a specific Guix deployment
>> mode, we have created a new, counter-intuitive thing we have to explain.
>> 2) As Ricardo points out below, the "guix system" command clashes with
>> this use of Guix system. This is a second counter-intuitive thing we
>> would have to explain.
>> Bottom line: we shouln'd use the general term "Guix System" in any way
>> beyond, perhaps in a descriptway way, e.g., The Guix project develops
>> the Guix System, a set of tools that manage software environments.
>> >> Most of the time we’ll just say “Guix”, as
>> >> is already the case, and when we need to disambiguate (for instance when
>> >> addressing bugs), we’ll ask “Are you using Guix System?” or “Are you
>> >> using the Guix distro?”, and everything will be fine.  :-)
>> >
>> > Exactly.
>> >
>> > I wrote this on IRC:
>> >
>> > The name “GuixSD” is opaque and creates an arbitrary distinction between
>> > the system running on bare metal and the systems you can create with the
>> > “guix system” commands.  It makes it difficult to communicate about
>> > Guix.  Do we really offer “a package manager” and a “distro” — or is it
>> > really all one thing with various levels?
>> >
>> > The “guix system” command can be used without GuixSD to create Guix
>> > virtual machines or containers.  Describing “guix system” is difficult
>> > when we think in terms of “package manager” vs “distro”.  Guix itself is
>> > also a distro – none of the packages it provides link with the host
>> > system, and the collection of packages is a distribution of free
>> > software.
>> >
>> > I think that simplifying the name by using “guix” as a category will
>> > make communication easier.
>> >
>> >> The motivation for this name change is that “SD” is obscure to most, as
>> >> you note, plus it creates confusion when people visit the web site: the
>> >> web site has a “GuixSD” logo, but then it talks about features of the
>> >> package manager.  Designating the whole tool set as “Guix” will simplify
>> >> this, and we can always be more specific when we need to.
>> >
>> > I agree.
>> I agree too. You may recall that I recommendi this approach when we
>> discussed the web site in January. That thread includes a product
>> description [1] that might be a good place to start when describing the
>> "whole tool set".
>> [1]
>> What do you think about  GuixSD >> "Guix Distribution"? This naming seems
> to resolve the ambiguities mentioned so far, and has a widespread
> use, that exactly matches the intended meaning. WDYT?

Hi Gábor,

I think this discussion was primarily triggered by the realization that
we can improve the top-level presentation of Guix by downplaying the
distinction between Guix and GuixSD. In fact, we could delay the
introduction of Guix/GuixSD to the download page.

A more informative download page might look like:

Use Guix to manage ...

entire computers: GuixSD download options: x86_64 i686

VMs: download options: GuixSD x86_64-QEMU-image

GNU/Linux user environments: Guix download options: x86_64, i686, armhf,

Here we see the primary purpose of the Guix/GuixSD labels is to identify
the different download options and to enable the user to find the
correct install instructions and doc sections for whatever they

GuixSD doesn't necessarily need to be changed. But the issue has been
raised, as mentioned above, that because "SD" is not a recognized
abbreviation "GuixSD" carries no intuitive meaning. If we want an
improved label for the Guix system distribution, the best one is
probably "GuixOS" since "OS" is a widely used and recognized
abbreviation ...

Term                google hits
OS                  3.0 * 10**9
operating system    0.7 * 10**9
system distribution 0.5 * 10**9

I guess the issue with this is that it seems odd to say "the GNU Guix
GNU/Linux System Distribution, abbreviated GuixOS" ;-)

HTH - George

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