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Re: Profiles/manifests-related command line interface enhancements

From: Konrad Hinsen
Subject: Re: Profiles/manifests-related command line interface enhancements
Date: Thu, 07 Nov 2019 14:07:58 +0100

Hi Simon,

>> I can of course share a manifest file by putting it in a public
>> repository. But that isn't necessarily the best way.
> From my opinion, it is not the problem of Guix. Guix should not force
> a practise, as good it should be. The way the users share manifests is
> the problem of users, not the Guix's one, IMHO.

Guix should support good practices in my opinion. Sharing files that can
contain arbitrary code (such as manifests) is not a good practice, for
security reasons. For personal use, on the other hand, that flexibility
is very valuable.

> From my opinion, Docker tutorials seems really easy because 1.
> everything is centralized and 2. they cheat (it is hard to replay a
> random tuto couple of months later; from my experience.)

I agree. I certainly don't want Guix to follow Docker in everything.
We can always do better.

> From what I understand, "guix time-machine" is the answer to this kind
> of scenario. Right?

Yes, in combination with "guix describe".

> Personally, I do not like the "directory defined by convention and
> referring to them by name" approach. The "package manager" Conda does
> that and after some years using it (before switching to Guix \o/),
> this approach appears to be also a mess. I never remembered the name

That's valuable feedback. I have never used conda myself systematically,
just a few times for following tutorials.

> I prefer the Guix way and I store the profile (symbolic link) in the
> project directory. This way, I always remember the name, I can quickly
> create another one with a cryptic name -- naming is hard :-) -- and
> weeks later I remember that it is attached to this project.

That's how I work as well. But Pierre's recent document convinced me
that profiles can also be a good way to modularize the global software
collection of my account. It would indeed be nice to be able to update
some parts (e.g. scientific software) more often than others
(e.g. TeXLive).


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