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Re: Parameterized packages

From: Pierre Neidhardt
Subject: Re: Parameterized packages
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2020 17:34:34 +0100

Hi Ricardo,

Ricardo Wurmus <address@hidden> writes:

> I think this is a sensible approach, though it would require agreement
> or at least coordination among package contributors about what
> parameters to use.  For example, one such parameter could be
> “#:headless” to disable any graphical user interface or desktop feature,
> but a case could just as well be made for “#:gui” or “#:graphical”…
> Coordination hasn’t been a problem so far because we managed to agree on
> build systems and utilities, but it seems to me that parameters to match
> on span a much larger range — I feel reminded of the problem of package
> tags or categories, which are a similarly large field that defies
> agreement.

I think Tobias suggestion is a good solution to this: make parameters
first class, global objects.  A package can only use globally declared
parameters.  This way we have a limited set of well-defined parameters
under control (understand: no duplicates, consistent naming).

As Tobias pointed out, global declaration of parameters allows us to
centralize their documentation and types.

Pierre Neidhardt

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