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Re: [Proposal] The Formal Methods in GNU Guix Working Group

From: Brett Gilio
Subject: Re: [Proposal] The Formal Methods in GNU Guix Working Group
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 2019 21:27:30 -0600
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.3 (gnu/linux)

Julien Lepiller <address@hidden> writes:

> OCaml stuff can easily be imported with guix import opam. I know coq
> packages use a separate opam repository, so it would be nice if the
> importer could take an optional parameter to indicate a custom opam
> repository url. I'm not sure the coq repo is converted to opam 2 yet
> though.

To my knowledge the Coq repo is not compliant with OPAM 2 quite
yet. Maybe this has changed since I last checked, but I would be more
than happy to ask upstream if this is still the case. I think working on
an importer for those modified OPAM->Coq packages would be a fantastic
start to that problem.

> I can see the benefits of formal methods and benefits of guix, but
> what does guix provide or could provide to formal method people
> specifically? Is it "only" the nice guarantees it gives to any
> programer, or is there something else? Maybe the question is why does
> it matter more to fm people than to other programmers?

I think it is a combination of what every other programmer is offered,
and the possibilities offered by what bootstrapping has to offer for
creating a machine from "nothing". There is still a lot of unknowns
here, but I speculate that there is definitely more to be found as the
concept progresses. I think your question is valid, and should likely be
a central thesis to the working group; "What does Guix offer to the
formal methods community that it could specifically benefit from?"

> I think we're still a small community, so we can continue talking
> about it on the main channel. We're trying to avoid dividing
> information, that's why we allow any language on tge channel, instead
> of having separate chans for each language. We also always hear about
> bootstrapping or the hpc effort on the main channel. Let's talk about
> fm :). You can count me in.

Agreed, lets not separate the community. Keep the communication
integrated. Though, I wonder if maybe I could draft an article for the
Guix website blog; or maybe we could organize our goals somewhere? I am
not quite sure what the best option here is. For example, one of the
goals is a possible bootstrapping compiler for ML that I mentioned
before, that would be dedicated to the GNU project in a similar fashion
to Jan's GNU Mes (which, thank you Jan for the supportive
messages). Combine this on maybe working out a bootstrap for OCaml,
creating an importer for Coq, working on some more programming
research-related questions in the context of Guix and suddenly we have
ourselves a trifecta of big questions that need to be articulated
_somewhere_ so we can retain some scope. Maybe Guix needs a wiki similar
to the wishlist, but dedicated to working groups? I really have no
idea. Just something, somewhere to centralize our goals.

Regardless, thank you for the supportive voice Julien. I am glad to have
your support.

Brett M. Gilio <address@hidden>
GNU Guix, Contributor <>

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