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Re: Review of pros and cons of package managers including Guix

From: Adam Van Ymeren
Subject: Re: Review of pros and cons of package managers including Guix
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2018 10:31:46 -0500
User-agent: K-9 Mail for Android

On November 8, 2018 4:43:23 AM EST, Thorsten Wilms <address@hidden> wrote:
>On 08/11/2018 10.09, swedebugia wrote:
>> Insights from the Guix-section:
>> 4 pros: (missing the roll-back feature) see link.
>> 1 cons:
>> "Cannot handle filetypes that have different semantics across
>> versions
>> While the functional approach that Guix takes is great for sandboxing
>> binary artifacts of packages, it seriously lacks any power in
>> configuration files or user data. It's difficult to upgrade and 
>> downgrade files where semantics and syntax can change between
>> Do you agree with this critique?
>The whole page is far from a worthwhile comparison, because the "cons" 
>and "pros" are all over the place. Characteristics that are listed  as 
>either for one manager do not appear for all others that have them,
>This specific con could be listed for most, if not all others, too, 
>right? Curious, if anyone knows an exception.
>The best handling of configuration files I got to know is offered by 
>Debian, which, if a package comes with a new configuration file, asks 
>what to do about it. Better than nothing, but still not exactly a good 
>user experience. There quite simply isn't the right level of
>and encoding of intentions given with plain text configuration files.

Guix is in a position to do better than most in this area.  I love how most 
services in Guix are configured via s-expressions which then generate the 
appropriate plain text config from that.  Don't have to learn a new syntax for 
every service.

It also means that configurations are usable data in the Guix world, allowing 
us to automatically upgrade configs to new syntax if a package decides to 
change it.

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