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Re: Optional runtime dependencies in Guix

From: Gammel Holte
Subject: Re: Optional runtime dependencies in Guix
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2015 19:18:08 +0000

On Mon, Jan 12, 2015 at 6:47 PM, Andreas Enge <address@hidden> wrote:
On Mon, Jan 12, 2015 at 05:26:02PM +0100, Ludovic Courtès wrote:
> To begin with, we could have a “weechat” package with a “reasonable”
> option set:
>   (define weechat
>     (make-weechat "weechat"))
> And possibly another variant with, say, all the options enabled:
>   (define weechat-full
>     (make-weechat "weechat-full" #:python? #t #:lua? #t))

So far, our policy has rather been to enable all possible inputs. I think
this should be the default with the name "weechat" unaltered. If need be,
one could add another package with fewer inputs under the name
"weechat-small" or similar.

What do others think? If there is consensus, we could formalise something
in the package naming section of the manual.

Apart from that, I do not see why having several scripting languages enabled
is a problem; in the end, it is quite likely that they are present anyway due
to one package or another (it is rather difficult to avoid perl and python
these days!). So my real preference would be to not have such "...-small"
packages except for outrageously big default packages (texlive comes to
mind here...).

I disagree here. I have very functional Arch & Gentoo installs with no scripting language other than Perl, which is a dependency of many GNU tools.

In particular I'm doing just fine without Python. Installing everything by default is a bit suboptimal from a security point of view, especially if you're adding loads of interpreters.

Also, if you're working on a constrained system, the fewer packages the better.

I liked the solution of giving recommends or suggests for interpreters.

> A long term possibility would be to officially support something like
> Gentoo’s “USE” flags.  These would be declared as part of the package,
> and the build process would take them into account somehow:

To me, this sounds like overkill to solve a problem that I am not
convinced exists.


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