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Inconsistencies in 'guix system' and 'guix package'

From: Alex Kost
Subject: Inconsistencies in 'guix system' and 'guix package'
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2015 17:27:06 +0300
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.5 (gnu/linux)


1. Should 'guix system' actions share the same options?

I think it is confusing that recently added 'guix system' actions
(dmd-graph, extension-graph and list-generations) can take the same
command-line options as the other system actions (--dry-run, --no-grub,
etc.), because specifying these options doesn't take any effect.

Another thing: "guix system <any-action> --help" displays the same help
message for any action.  With 'list-generations' it is even more
confusing, as (unlike the other actions) it takes PATTERN, not FILE as
the positional argument.

What about splitting 'guix system' into submodules (as it is done for
'guix import') with putting general bits into (guix scripts system)?

2. What about adding subcommands for 'guix package'?

As we have 'guix system list-generations', would it be more consistent
to have 'guix package list-generations' instead of the current 'guix
package --list-generations'?

More generally, I think there is a similar issue with 'guix package', as
with 'guix system': using some options together doesn't make sense
(e.g., using --keep-failed, --show and --dry-run).  For example, the
following command:

  guix package --show=magit --list-generations=1

displays generation 1, while the following:

  guix package --list-generations=1 --show=magit

describes 'magit' package.

Analogously, would it be appropriate to replace some 'guix package'
options (--show, --list-generations --list-installed, --list-available)
with subcommands ('guix package show', ...)?

I'm not talking about adding 'guix install' or alike as was discussed in
a separate thread¹, but I agree with Andy that «"guix package" is doing
too much as it is».



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