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Re: Release!

From: Ricardo Wurmus
Subject: Re: Release!
Date: Sat, 07 Oct 2017 23:30:31 +0200
User-agent: mu4e 0.9.18; emacs 25.3.1

Hi David,

>> >>   • Merge the potluck!  <>
>> About that… We now have a JSON importer, so maybe it’s worth using the
>> even simpler JSON package format instead of the simplified S-expression
>> format that Andy proposed.  What do you think?  Should we discuss this
>> at <>?
> FWIW, I much prefer s-exp, and the generated file is a scheme file right? I 
> very
> much doubt guix and potluck package developers can't easily read (and write 
> :))
> s-exp, so why would we 'abandon' s-exp, what would we win here? These files 
> will
> never be processed by anything else but guix and/or potluck, and the 'package
> developers' do all know scheme perfectly well...

I’m not saying that JSON is “better” than s-exps.

Part of the potluck effort as I understood it is to simplify packaging.
The potluck package definition is strictly simpler than Guix package
definitions in that there’s less boilerplate and inputs are really just
strings.  Taking that aspect of simplifying packaging even farther we
can reduce the syntax even more.

The target audience here has little overlap with Guix developers.  Guix
won’t adopt JSON as a packaging format; that’s not what this is about.
The goal I had in mind when I worked on the JSON importer was to make
packaging even simpler for people who don’t really care all that much
about packaging — if they did they would probably want to learn about
how to contribute to Guix, and thus would want to learn the S-expr
syntax we use in Guix.

There are users of Guix who benefit from its features as a personal
package manager.  Users can already add their own packages via
GUIX_PACKAGE_PATH.  We support those who don’t feel comfortable writing
Scheme by offering a JSON importer; with just a minor change to “guix
build” we can even build JSON packages directly, without making people
convert them to Scheme modules first.

I think that this feature can be useful within the context of the


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