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Re: Introducing GNU Guix

From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: Re: Introducing GNU Guix
Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2012 14:07:51 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.130005 (Ma Gnus v0.5) Emacs/24.2 (gnu/linux)

Hi Brandon,

Brandon Invergo <address@hidden> skribis:

>> I am pleased to announce GNU Guix, an on-going project to build a
>> functional package manager and associated free software distribution of
>> the GNU system.
> Congrats on the release!

Note that it’s not a release yet, but you can help make it happen
faster!  :-)

> As previously promised, I do intend to write a script to convert GSRC
> build scripts to Guix scripts.

That would be neat.  Currently I use ‘guix-import’ to convert simple
recipes from Nixpkgs, which I had often written before in Nix language.

> Anyway, the point is that I'll soon be in a proper position to start
> converting them. I'll let you know. Future development will be on
> Savannah now instead of Gitorious, right?

Well, we use a DVCS ;-), but the main repo will be on Savannah, yes.

> * Guix: a functional package manager, can form the basis of a distribution
> * GSRC: a collection of BSD Ports-like build scripts for GNU software,
>     not intended as a distribution but rather as a supplement to a
>     distribution's own software collection. Has some light package
>     management features (no db but keeps track of what is installed in
>     per-package text files)
> * Sourceinstall: simplifies the process of installing software from a
>     source tarball if the package follows the standard GNU build/install
>     procedure. Has some package management features (db of installed
>     packages, but does not handle the fetching of the tarball from an
>     online source). I think its dependence on the GNU standard makes it
>     too inflexible to be the foundation of a distro as is,  but I don't
>     know that for sure. Documentation is scarce.
> * Swbis: I'm not totally clear on this one but it implements some POSIX
>     software packaging and distributed installation standard. To be
>     honest, its use is not very clear from the documentation unless you
>     already know what it is supposed to do. Can anyone explain it better?

There’s also GNU Stow.

There’s definitely a fair amount of overlap here, and I’m guilty for
adding some more.  Now, experience with Nixpkgs/NixOS has convinced me
that this approach allows us to go way beyond transitional package
management techniques.

> What about Sourceinstall? I see a lot of overlap with the GSRC use cases
> as it is now. What I would be interested in seeing is if
> libsourceinstall can be adapted to use Guix and/or GSRC build scripts,
> so that the user can have a Gtk-based GUI for installing packages. Can
> the Sourceinstall maintainer, if he's reading this, clarify if that's
> possible?

That’d be neat.  Another thing I’d love to have is a package.el back-end
for Guix.


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