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Re: Guix as a Guile package manager

From: Amirouche Boubekki
Subject: Re: Guix as a Guile package manager
Date: Sat, 09 Jan 2016 15:35:34 +0100
User-agent: Roundcube Webmail/1.1.2

On 2016-01-09 15:06, Fabio Pesari wrote:
On 01/09/2016 02:05 PM, Amirouche Boubekki wrote:
There is a package manager with a
repository with automatic package publishing without review.

Asking users to install a separate package manager might work in some
cases (Leiningen, Composer) but it usually leads to fragmentation and
confusion (as it was the case with many Lisps, especially CLs).

That's one of the reason why I advocate for guix as package manager of guile.

I'm not a core developer, but I don't think it makes sens to fork. Most
if not all features of guix are required by language package manager.
This includes virtualenv since guix can do them via 'guix environment'.

I called for a fork because having Guix as both a general-purpose
package manager and a Guile-specific package manager is very confusing
and doesn't follow the UNIX philosophy.

Can you explain what a Guile specific fork of guix will bring over guix?

User should be able to upload packages but each package should be
carefully reviewed (possibly by the community itself).

This is not how pypi works for instance.

Somewhat related: even if I never saw a package rejected in guix, I
most contributors have some expectations regarding the quality of
included in guix *main* repository. Otherwise said, I don't mind pushing
alpha software or snippet on pypi, but this is not the case with guix.

So maybe, it will be nice to have a guix repository dedicated to guile
modules where the expectations will much lower and where guilers
can freely share their small and not so small contributions.

I agree with you that users should be able to submit packages easily -
that's why I called for a fork, so that the standards for package
inclusion can be much lower (except for freedom, which is imperative)
and the Guile packages are by default separated from all other software.

This could also be achieved with a separate repo (like "guile-contrib"
or something along these lines) for Guix, sure, but I'd still like a
separate repo with a separate database and site, so that important
things like user ratings can be implemented independently from the other
Guix repos.

I just checked the documentation [1] and it's possible to have third party
repositories but the policy is to not fork the effort and package guile
softwares in guix.


Also, this will be a visible example of how to extend guix with third
package repository which is a significant asset is some commercial

I'm not against the idea of third party package repositories (I see no
reason why this functionality should not be implemented) but Guix should
focus on having every decent quality free program in its repositories,
so that people are not encouraged to use third-party repos.

I find it self-defeating that in distros like Parabola (or upstream,
Arch), fully functional and semi-popular programs like OpenArena,
pngquant and yuicompressor can only be found in the user repository (the
AUR), which also distribute proprietary software.

If people are encouraged to include third-party repos, freedom goes out
of the window pretty easily, so the official repositories should be as
complete as possible (I know it's easier said than done, but it should
be much easier for Guix compared to other package managers).

My question is: what must do a guix fork that guix doesn't have already?

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