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bug#19816: 'guix environment' always downloads all the outputs of depend

From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: bug#19816: 'guix environment' always downloads all the outputs of dependencies
Date: Sun, 08 Feb 2015 19:24:37 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.4 (gnu/linux)

>From <http://debbugs.gnu.org/cgi/bugreport.cgi?bug=19641#16>:

There’s another problem, though.  When a dependency is a multiple-output
package, all its outputs are added to the environment, because
‘package->transitive-inputs’ discards the information of which output is

So for instance, both the ‘out’ and the ‘debug’ output of Coreutils end
up being downloaded and added to the environment, even though only ‘out’
is an input.

Now, the problem is that ‘build-derivations’ can only build *all* the
outputs of the given derivation.  This could be worked around either:

  1. by creating a “sink” derivation, for instance with
     ‘profile-derivation’, that could refer precisely to the output(s)
     needed; not ideal.

  2. by using (build-things (list "/the/output/path")) and resorting to
     ‘build-derivations’ only if the ‘build-things’ call did nothing
     (when passed a non-.drv store item, ‘build-things’ tries to
     substitute and does nothing if that fails.)


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