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Re: Guix as a Guile package manager

From: Leo Famulari
Subject: Re: Guix as a Guile package manager
Date: Sat, 9 Jan 2016 15:42:27 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.24 (2015-08-30)

On Sat, Jan 09, 2016 at 11:35:13AM +0100, Fabio Pesari wrote:
> Package managers have been immensely successful in increasing the
> popularity of programming languages - think about Perl's CPAN or Ruby's
> Gem. But Guile doesn't a package manager, and that in my opinion slows
> down its adoption.
> The Guix repos distribute a lot of useful Guile libraries (like
> guile-json or guile-opengl) which can't be found on most distro
> repositories and it already provides Guile APIs and package management
> question is, can Guix be forked into a full-blown
> Guile package manager like gem from Ruby?
> I know that an argument could be made that Guix can already be used in
> this way, but there are many Scheme coders who don't need a system-wide
> package manager and would rather use a program that can manage Guile
> packages under a user root like ~/.guile and allow them to easily
> distribute their packages (something like Python's virtualenvs would
> also be useful).
> Perhaps some of the Guix code can be moved to a library, so that both
> the Guix and the Guile package manager binaries can reuse the same code.
> Moving Guix' core to a library would also facilitate its inclusion in
> things like PackageKit, as well as make it easier to create front-ends.

I think the main problem with this idea is that the whole point of Guix
/ Nix is to manage the entire dependency graph — from the package you
are trying to install and use all the way down the tar used to unpack
the sources, the GCC used to compile everything, etc.

There is not much point in using Guix to only manage the very top-level
of the graph (the Guile modules you'd want to install) because by not
managing the entire graph from top to bottom, the Guix system would just
break as the unmanaged dependencies are changed the OS's package manager
or the user.

There really isn't anything left when you try to split up Guix in the
way you are requesting.

> I'm not a package management expert so I'm not sure this idea is
> feasible but I would really like Guile to become more
> popular, and this I think would be a step in the right direction.

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