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Re: 'guix environment' as a build tool.

From: Thompson, David
Subject: Re: 'guix environment' as a build tool.
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 2016 10:07:00 -0400

On Sun, Jul 31, 2016 at 9:55 AM, Ludovic Courtès <address@hidden> wrote:
> Hello!
> "Thompson, David" <address@hidden> skribis:
>> On Sat, Jul 30, 2016 at 10:05 PM, Mathieu Lirzin <address@hidden> wrote:
>>> address@hidden (Ludovic Courtès) writes:
> [...]
>>>> 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:
>> It *does* fit well.  This use-case is why I wrote 'guix environment'
>> in the first place.
> [...]
>>> if the user wants to enter this environment Later it will have to invoke
>>> './guix-env'.
>> This just makes things more inconvenient and limits potential utility.
> That sounds harsh.

I'm sorry.

> I don’t have a better answer for Mathieu other than ‘guix environment
> -l’, and I think it does the job well.
> But I also think that Mathieu’s concerns must not be dismissed.  For
> instance, it’s true that some of the metadata in ‘package’ forms looks
> irrelevant for the purposes of setting up a build environment—no big
> deal, but still it doesn’t “feel” completely right.

My intention was to define it just like a regular package so that
users can do whatever they want with it: build it, install it, or make
a development environment using it.

> Conversely, useful metadata is missing: for instance, I’d like to add
> something that would allow me to specify the equivalent of ‘--network
> --expose=$HOME/.gdbinit’ in development environments I use.
> Perhaps the solution is to introduce a new way to declare development
> environments?  It would be similar to ‘package’, but without ‘synopsis’,
> ‘description’, and a couple other things; it could have additional
> fields to describe container setups and such likes; it would compile
> down to a bag, just like packages.
> What do you think?

Hmm, that sounds like a good idea.  Maybe I'll try to write a
prototype sometime.  The downside of this method is that one could no
longer use the same expression as input to 'guix build -f' or 'guix
package -f'.

- Dave

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