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Re: Improve package search

From: Tobias Geerinckx-Rice
Subject: Re: Improve package search
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2019 23:01:12 +0100

Leo, mikadoZero,

This has been suggested many times and is a good idea. Now all we need is someone to do the work, but that's the easy part, right?

Leo Famulari wrote:
On Thu, Mar 14, 2019 at 02:31:36PM -0400, mikadoZero wrote:
# Proposed idea

* Add a "programs" field to package definitions that list the programs that are included in a package. * Include this field in search results. * Have this field factor into the search result relevance scores.

We should also expose it directly like other package managers do. ‘guix which’ would be very handy, and allows ‘command-not-found’-style suggestions for those who like that kind of thing.

# Feedback

This is an initial idea that would benefit from the input of others.

For me, it would be better to have this "program listing" built
automatically, rather than relying on packagers to get it right and keep
it up to date. It would be a great feature once it is in place.

Absolutely. Adding this to the package record manually is a maintenance nightmare. It's data that can be trivially auto-generated (ls …/{,s}bin, basically), and storing it in-line takes up too much screen and mind space for my taste.

People have suggested using the build farm for this, but that adds disproportionate complexity and decouples/delays updates from the commits that caused them. It's just not the right place.

A separate simple (text) database (included in the git repository, and updated in the same commit) would be faster to search and stay out of our way.

On the other hand, we'd be able to map commands only to package names, not to specific objects.

Just thinking out loud,


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