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Re: Using --manfistest with <profile>/manifest files

From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: Re: Using --manfistest with <profile>/manifest files
Date: Sat, 13 Jun 2020 22:36:35 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.3 (gnu/linux)

Hi, skribis:

> In an attempt to tar up the *build* environment for a package to share with a
> colleague, I encountered this:
>     [env]$ guix pack -m $GUIX_ENVIRONMENT/manifest
>     (manifest ...): Wrong number of arguments
> From playing around a bit, my guess is that the `<profile>/manifest' files are
> just human-readable serializations of <manifest> objects and don't deserialize
> back:
>     $ guix environment -m ~/.guix-profile/manifest
>     (manifest ...): Wrong number of arguments
> Asking around on #guix, user leoprikler suggested a workaround by putting this
> in a file:
>     (call-with-input-file
>       "/path/to/manifest"
>       (@@ (guix profiles) read-manifest))
> and feeding that file to --manifest. This works as intended.
> First, am I missing something? Is there a better/preferred way to make use of
> the `manifest' files in profiles?

You’re not missing anything: it’s a longstanding source of confusion
that these ‘manifest’ files are not like the ‘manifest.scm’ files.
These ‘manifest’ files are meant for internal consumption.

I think Pierre Neidhardt started looking at ways to address it from
different angles, but that hasn’t materialized yet.  One thing we
discussed was to add an ‘--export-manifest’ (or similar) option that
would export a ‘manifest.scm’ file for a profile, where the
‘manifest.scm’ file could be an approximation of what the profile
contains, in some cases.

> If not, does it seem reasonable to make the `manifest' files automatically
> deserialize into the objects they describe? I think this could be a fun, 
> simple
> project for a Guix newbie like me, but before I start figuring out how to do
> this, I just want to sanity check the idea.



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