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Re: Deliver important Guix changes to users, please

From: znavko
Subject: Re: Deliver important Guix changes to users, please
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2019 17:21:26 +0000

Hello, Ludovic!
If commit has important meaning for all Guix users, it must give a short news entry for the users that are now developers and do not really read git logs.

How to perform this?
There are git commit messages that may have some specific rule for containing news.
For example, your commit
may have 'message' field like this:
news: services: xorg: Add 'set-xorg-configuration'.

Placing 'news:' makes this message important for the guix informer. It will react to the 'news:' messages.

If it is not possible to use the 'message field', then need to add news.log file into Guix git tree, and there, developers may add important news with their commits.

Adding 'news' prefix means this message will regard as message for delivery to Guix users when they run `guix pull` or when they order news with command like `guix news`.
The set of these news assembled from commits (or from the news.log that also may contain date field) for any defined period will be displaying to Guix users.

`guix news` may have default period from the last `guix pull` running till now, also may have the 'period' option.

I really think your distribution is effective and powerful.
If I'd be a bank's sysadmin, I use Guix, having my own troubles in my local network, having my local substitute server and special Guix configurations on each work place This news function can help me to solve: to update or not to update.
Seeing if there are sensitive changes that may break bank's work places, I will check the manual first before update.

April 15, 2019 12:56 PM, "Ludovic Courtès" <address@hidden> wrote:

address@hidden skribis:
I think it will be the best to have some layer of informative support for updates. Like this:

$ guix system --updates-available
Commit: 1 [two days ago]
Changes: some services are available now

Commit: 2
Changes: [red]Switch to GDM in %desktop-services. If your config is using %desktop-services, you
need to check manual pages.[/red]

Commit: 3 (latest)
Changes: gc clear-generations added
$ guix package --updates-available=1week
90 new packages added.
15 packages updated.
New packages:
emacs-evil-lio, llgpl-license, ...
Changed package:
emacs 26.1 => 26.2
That will give some knowledge that your cool config might be wrong after update to the latest
commit, where dm was switched to gdm.

I think news should be divided to
- 'packages news' defining the period,
- and 'system news', the default period is from your last `guix system reconfigure config.scm` or
may be your last generation's date till now,

And sure news should be available from guix command.

There are tools for update guix from substitute servers: local or Internet. There is much info in
cgit logs on gnu server... Want to read more with guix.

Would this kind of messages help people to bypass troubles in convenient way?

‘guix pull’ already provides high-level “package news”, but I agree it’d
be nice to have a way to convey “system news” and perhaps free-form
messages like Debian’s change logs.

I suppose we could use some specially-formatted Git commits to pass
messages to users. I’m afraid it would be hard to get those messages


Note that the GDM change could also have been addressed by fixing
‘modify-services’ to report about unmatched service types, for example.


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