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Re: 'guix environment' as a build tool.

From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: Re: 'guix environment' as a build tool.
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 2016 13:13:53 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.5 (gnu/linux)


Mathieu Lirzin <address@hidden> skribis:

> address@hidden (Ludovic Courtès) writes:
>> Mathieu Lirzin <address@hidden> skribis:
>>> I have tested successfully with the following command on a foreign
>>> system:
>>>   guix environment --ad-hoc automake pkg-config guile guix libgcrypt sqlite 
>>> guile-sqlite3
>>> Tell me if it works for you.
>>>> How about including a guix package definition then we can easily build
>>>> it assuming "we" know how to do out-of-guix-tree package building :)
>>> It would indeed be nice to provide an easy way for Guix users to install
>>> Cuirass.  IMHO package definitions meant as a development build tool is
>>> confusing and should be avoided.  Nonetheless, I think it is useful to
>>> document the previous 'guix environment ...' command in the README.
>> What about providing a ‘guix.scm’ file that people could pass to ‘guix
>> environment -l’ (instead of typing the long command above), and to ‘guix
>> package -f’ (info "(guix) Invoking guix package")?
> 'guix environment -l' uses a package definition.  To me this abstraction
> doesn't fit well in a development context:
>  - the origin hash doesn't make sense.

Not a problem with ‘local-file’, as David wrote.

>  - packages already included in Guix have redundant description and synopsis.

Yeah, though for such packages, a guix.scm is typically less useful
since most of the time ‘guix environment PACKAGE’ is enough.

>  - package definitions rely on Guix internals.

I sympathize both with this and with what David wrote here.

I can sympathize with the idea that conceptually a package definition is
not quite the same thing as a development environment definition, in
practice ‘guix environment -l’ remains much better than the long command
line above.  :-)

> An idea that I like better and is less invasive, would be to complement
> bootstrap scripts with:
>   ./bootstrap --with-guix
> This command would:
> - generate a guix-env script that wraps 'guix environment ...' if it
>   doesn't exist.
> - Invoke ./guix-env
> - Invoke autoreconf -vfi
> if the user wants to enter this environment Later it will have to invoke
> './guix-env'.

I’m not convinced by generated scripts.

Now, we’re at a stage where everyone is welcome to explore their own
way.  Some may prefer a ‘guix.scm’ file, while others would prefer a
script that runs ‘guix environment --ad-hoc’.  With more experience,
maybe we can come up with a solution that better caters to everyone’s


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