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Re: distinguishing between applications and libraries

From: zimoun
Subject: Re: distinguishing between applications and libraries
Date: Tue, 2 Jul 2019 16:33:08 +0200


On Tue, 2 Jul 2019 at 15:35, Robert Vollmert <address@hidden> wrote:
> > On 1. Jul 2019, at 23:48, Ricardo Wurmus <address@hidden> wrote:
> >> - `guix search` would ignore library packages by default
> >
> > I think it’s valid for users to want to install libraries.  For Python,
> > for example, installing modules that don’t provide any executables
> > appears to be the norm.
> The idea would be that
> `guix search <topic>`
> would find applications related to topic, while e.g.
> `guix search [-l|--include-libraries] <topic>`
> would include library packages. So installing libraries would still
> be possible.
> (It needn’t be a “application vs library” distinction either, it could
> be “graphical vs command line” or “user vs development” or whatever.)

I am always uncomfortable with the distinctions because there is
always corner cases. And where set the boundary?
For instance, is VLC graphical or command-line? I use both ways.

IMHO, a nice feature about `search` should to be able to use output
packages (binary name, library name, doc, etc.).
It has already been discussed here in the list (or the variant
proposed above by Danny).
To summary what I understood, the naive approach by adding a new field
containing the outputs name is too much work and prone error. It
should be better to collect automatically the outputs name. Therefore,
at build time, but then this kind of search is not local anymore---in
general we search something to install it, or at least it is not in
the store yet. It would remotely search with the substitutes.

All the best,

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