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Re: Optional runtime dependencies in Guix

From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: Re: Optional runtime dependencies in Guix
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2015 18:24:58 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.4 (gnu/linux)

Andreas Enge <address@hidden> skribis:

> 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.

Actually yes, weechat/weechat-small (rather than weechat-full/weechat)
is a good choice, and it’s what we did for Emacs notably.  Sorry for the

> 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...).

Well, pulling Python, Ruby, Lua, and Guile just to get an IRC client
really seems overkill.  In general, Guix is not about space-efficiency,
but we still want to make it easy to avoid adding extra weight when it’s
clearly unnecessary.

>> 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.

Well, less code is better, and it could be that the full/small package
variants are enough in many cases.  We’ll see.


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