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[GSoC] Guix + GNUnet: what’s next

From: Rémi Birot-Delrue
Subject: [GSoC] Guix + GNUnet: what’s next
Date: Thu, 02 Jul 2015 13:15:30 +0200

Hello Guix! Here’s a little update.

The current binary package distribution (through HTTP) is based on two
components: a substituer (that retrieves packages) and a publisher. The
current plan is to start with adapting the publisher for GNUnet before
attacking the substituer; this work will be started once I’ll have
successfully bound the download and publish operations.

Here’s an overview of how these components will work:

After a call to `guix package -i foo`, the GNUnet substituer will search
GNUnet for a specific build of the `foo` package and if it finds one, it
will download it and install it (as if it had been downloaded through

An interesting point is handling of metadata: in Guix (and Nix), each
binary package’s metadata (size, signature, compression method…) is
downloaded separatedly, before its archive. In the HTTP substituer, that
means you have to download two files: one for the metadata, one for the
archive. In the GNUnet substituer, we take advantage of the functionning
of GNUnet: when you search for a file, some metadata is automatically
retrieved (its size, signature, direct access URI…) with the search
result, and an archive’s metadata can be shipped along.

In order to make this work, the publisher will basically inline the
`narinfo' file of each archive into its metadata before indexing
(uploading) it on GNUnet.

As usual, feel free to contact me for any question, suggestion, advice,
idea, critic or joke.
Rémi Birot-Delrue

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