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

From: zimoun
Subject: Re: Using --manfistest with <profile>/manifest files
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2020 15:42:29 +0200


On Tue, 16 Jun 2020 at 20:33, wrote:
>> 1. We can only approximate that actual profile content; storing
>>    an approximate ‘manifest.scm’ along with the profile would IMO be
>>    deceptive.
> Is this a technical barrier or a pragmatic one?


> If the problem is of pragmatics, then at the very least I would be interested
> in hearing a delineation of the challenges. I think this could be helpful for
> the discussion though.

It is a pragmatic one. As any good Zen says: "Now is better than never.
Although never is often better than *right* now."

Going from imperative/sequential "install, pull, remove" way to the
declarative manifest.scm way, in the general case, needs to change the
format of <profile>/manifest (or add another file). Which means
transition plan, etc.. Otherwise, on the technical level, all the
material is there.

So it is some work and it is not clear that it will pay off.

>> Yeah, I think our goal is just to provide a tool to migrate from the
>> “imperative” way to the declarative way.  Once people have gotten
>> started with manifests, they no longer need that migration tool.
> Would you mind commenting on the use case that I started this thread with?
> Specifically, I was trying to `guix pack' a `guix environment'. The equivalent
> is straightforward for purely --ad-hoc environments but not otherwise.

I do not see why it is straightforward for some cases.

> Personally, I have already encountered several instances where this would have
> been useful. I also think it would be just plain cool to have the ability to
> pack up, containerize, and share arbitrary profiles with non-guix users.

Well, I have re-read your initial message and maybe miscommunication
here. :-)

Because your use case -- pack an existing profile for sharing -- is not
really related to transform <profile>/manifest to a valid manifest.scm,
if I understand correctly.  And I agree with you that it should be
possible to pack an existing profile (created by any mean).

Does "pack --profile-name" fit your needs?

If not, yes packing an existing profile could be a feature to "guix
pack" -- doing transparently something similar to the Leo's suggestion
-- because it is an internal consumption of these <profile>/manifest

All the best,

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