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Re: Communication and Design at Guix

From: George Clemmer
Subject: Re: Communication and Design at Guix
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2019 11:31:41 -0500
User-agent: mu4e 1.0; emacs 26.1

Hi Lprndn,

I am glad to see your interest in these issues.

Ludovic Courtès <address@hidden> writes:

> Hi,
> L  p R n  d n    <address@hidden> skribis:
>> Ludovic Courtès <address@hidden> writes:
> [...]
>>> A very concrete task that could be of interest to you is the “name
>>> change” (a bit of a strong word) that we’d like to implement by 1.0.
>>> I’ll try to summarize.  Currently we have “Guix” and “GuixSD”, and that
>>> confuses things: people visit the web site, they see a “GuixSD” logo and
>>> get confused because they were just looking for a package manager, not a
>>> whole distro, or they think “GuixSD” is a storage device ;-), things
>>> like that.
>>> The idea is to bring everything under the “Guix” name.  Most of the
>>> time, writing “Guix” is good enough—after all, one can run ‘guix system’
>>> on a foreign distro, too.  When we really need to make the distinction,
>>> for instance in the manual, we would write “Guix System” to designate
>>> what we currently call “GuixSD”.
>> Hum. It might just be as easy as getting rid of the GuixSD logo and
>> wording for the most part. Then we can find a *preferred* way to
>> designate GuixSD (a Guix system (probably), Guix distro, Guix os).Here,
>> it's more about making GuixSD "disappear" but we could also just rebrand
>> GuixSD with some kind of "subtitle": "Guix, the system", derive a logo
>> from the Guix's one. It depends a lot from what we want to put under
>> the spotlight.
> The idea is more to have a single “brand”: Guix.

Yes a single brand is the way to go. But, piecemeal changes to the web
site are unlikely to get us there unless we work from a unified "Guix
Brand" product description. E.g., earlier I proposed ...

"'Guix' is a software environment manager that creates user environments
that are completely and independently specified by users. Guix users are
never stuck needing software that a Sysadmin can't, won't, or hasn't
installed. A Guix user can run multiple, differing environments
simultaneously and can replicate any environment on any Guix run-time
platform.  Guix provides system-wide environment management when
appropriate to the run-time platform.  Creation, modification, and
upgrade are atomic and roll-back is instantaneous, so Guix users and
sysadmins are never stuck with a broken user environment or system.
Guix implements a functional specification of package, user, and system
configurations using the Scheme language.  Guix complies with the FSF
Four Essential Freedoms and Free System Distribution Guidelines and
provides easy and immediate access to the exact source being run.  By
default, Guix uses pre-built package substitutes from the Guix build
farm and mirrors but users may build any package, or a complete system,
from package developer sources."[1]

> Then “Guix System” would be a component of Guix, so to speak, similar
> to GNOME and its applications.

"Guix System" is a "bad" name for "GuixSD." Why? Because a new user's
first expectation is for "Guix system" to refer to the whole of Guix,
which we want to call "Guix" (referred to as "Guix Brand" below).

But if we call GuixSD the "Guix System", we create a counter-intuitive
thing to explain. E.g., we will be saying, "Our GNU/Linux System
Distribution, 'Guix System' is just one of multiple ways to use 'Guix
Brand', which includes the Guix package manager, for which we also use
the 'Guix Brand' label.

Another "bad" thing about calling it "Guix system" is that when a user
searches "guix system" they hit the 'guix system' "Guix Brand" package
manager' command that, BTW, also generates "Guix VMs".

It will simplify our work if we present GuixSD as simply one of several
Guix download/deployment options. E.g., earlier I suggested ...

"Guix is available on multiple run-time platforms including bare metal
(GuixSD), Virtual Machines (QEMU image), and any GNU/Linux distro (Guix

With this approach, we only need a distinctive label for GuixSD that
doesn't puzzle users to produce reliable search hits on the relevant
parts of our message and documentation. E.g., GuixOS.

HTH - George


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