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

From: George Clemmer
Subject: Re: Using --manfistest with <profile>/manifest files
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2020 22:51:04 -0400
User-agent: mu4e 1.2.0; emacs 26.3

Ludovic Courtès <> writes:

> skribis:

>> 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.

This hurt my head for a while a few years ago until I realized that
'manifest.scm' is the guix "order" and ‘.guix-profile/manifest’ is the
guix "packing list".

But actually a guix' 'manifest' packing list goes well beyond what we
normally find in a packing list by containing detailed info about how
the specific products were made, down to the specific design for the
specific version shipped.

Thought of this way it is easy to understand why a receiver of a
'manifest' can only estimate the set of 'manifest.scm' that might
produce it. A simple-minded example: did the manifest.scm specify the
version of the package shipped or is this an artifact of a) when
'manifest.scm' was processed or b) of the requirements of the other
packages that were received?

In any event, once I saw it this way it no longer troubled me that guix
doesn't have a pushbutton way to "reverse" 'manifest' into

ISTM we set ourselves up for confused users and a lot of explaining by
labeling two very different things with same name :-0

Yes, only 'manifest.scm' is in the doc, but '.guix-profile/manifest'
smacks a user in the face pretty quickly which leads to these messy

IMO we could dramatically simplify the situation, and simplify our
lives, by simply renaming the .guix-profile/manifest file ;-)


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