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Re: Profiles/manifests-related command line interface enhancements

From: Pierre Neidhardt
Subject: Re: Profiles/manifests-related command line interface enhancements
Date: Thu, 07 Nov 2019 10:04:42 +0100

Konrad Hinsen <address@hidden> writes:

> I agree. What's messy is how the concepts map to commands. How many Guix
> users understand that profiles are persistent environments, or
> environments ephemeral profiles? And how many understand what "guix
> environment -r" does exactly, and how it should be used?  It took me a
> while to figure this out.

Yup!  Before I got down to write the article, I must confess I had been
using Guix wrong for more than a year :p

> What we have is two commands (package and environment) each designed for
> one main usage pattern, plus options to get something else. But even
> those options don't overlap completely in functionality. For example,
> how do I make a profile with the dependencies of a package?
> The current discussion started with adding more commands for different
> specific usage patterns. If we go that route the mess will become worse.


> Me too :-) It's "guix package" that is the worst offender in my
> opinion. It does two distinct things: querying the package database and
> managing profiles. And now that we have "guix search" for queries, I'd
> like to see "guix package" go away, to be replaced by either "guix
> profile" for profile management, with as much overlap as possible in
> options with "guix environment", or by a single command that handles
> environments and profiles in a unified way.

I like this idea a lot!

> They do, but not very well in my opinion. I think everything meant to be
> shared, published, and maintained should be accessible by name in a
> database. A channel, for example.
> Some ideas that could make this possible (and convenient):
>  - Better support for adding/managing channels at the user account
>    level. Users shouldn't have to edit Guile code (unless they want to).

This is a great idea.
By the way, the same should be possible from the installer:

- Specify which channels you want to use.
- Specify which config.scm you want to use.  Indeed, the config.scm
  might rely on channels.

This way, the Guix installation process would boil down to the above 2
items, that is to say... 1 minute of the user time!  Great, no?


Pierre Neidhardt

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