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Re: new manifest format readers?

From: Ricardo Wurmus
Subject: Re: new manifest format readers?
Date: Fri, 09 Jun 2017 16:58:21 +0200
User-agent: mu4e 0.9.18; emacs 25.2.1

Jan Nieuwenhuizen <address@hidden> writes:

> Ricardo Wurmus writes:
>> One can either write a manifest using variable names or convert a list
>> of spec strings to a manifest.  The latter case is used a lot at my
>> institute and it’s unfortunate that this requires so much code (with
>> emphasis on “code”, not on “so much”).
>> Here’s an example:
>> (define packages
>>   (list "address@hidden"
>>         "address@hidden"
>>         "cdogs-sdl"))
> and don't forget things like
>    (list icedtea-8 "jdk")
> or
>    `(,icedtea-8 "jdk")

You can use “icedtea:jdk” as a spec string.  But doing this with just
variable names does indeed require something awkward like (list
icedtea-8 "jdk").

> Can I suggest sticking with s-expresions, and preferrably with something
> that can be used verbatim in the packages section of (operating-system)?
> New users will most probably have to maintain that too.
> So something like
>    (use-package-modules gcc)
>    (packages
>     ;; this is for compilers
>     gfortran-5)
> or go further even and add some sugar to remove use-package-modules and
> do something like
>    (package-strings
>     ;; this is for compilers
>     "address@hidden"
>     ;; this is for work
>     "icedtea:jdk")
> and have package-strings be usable in operating-system too?

I’m not sure about this, but I’ll think about it.  My initial response
is that there is probably relatively little to be gained from adding
more special syntax (“package-strings”) to S-expressions when we already
have regular Guile.  But maybe there’s something else we can do to
require less boilerplate when using package spec strings.


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