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Re: Idea: a meta language for (language) build systems - npm, Racket, Ru

From: Adriano Peluso
Subject: Re: Idea: a meta language for (language) build systems - npm, Racket, Rust cargo
Date: Tue, 01 Jun 2021 07:50:01 +0200

Il giorno lun, 31/05/2021 alle 19.47 +0200, Pjotr Prins ha scritto:
> On Sun, May 30, 2021 at 09:17:20PM +0200, Konrad Hinsen wrote:
> > How about pushing all the other package manager towards producing
> > sexp-packs, and helping them to get there?
> I have a feeling they won't be that interested ;).
> My thoughts are that every software package simply consists of files
> that need to be compiled (if not interpreted) and be copied in place.
> As Guix takes care of the first and the last - the issue centers
> around building. The idea is to dress down these language specific
> builders, such as cargo, so you don't have all the included
> complexity. 
> A sexp-pack would represent the most simple build instructions to
> build a package on its own. Now, of course the current guix-builders
> solve that too. But, what I am proposing is to split out the actual
> build step into a package definition, so as to present something
> simpler to Guix.
> I found a cargo -> ninja converter. It is that kind of idea. Guix
> would use ninja with rustc instead of cargo. A stripped down cargo
> could potentially work too - but cargo is a complex beast.
> A simplified build step would make it easier to troubleshoot these
> packages.
> See what I mean?

You mean to break the chain introducing an intermediate step

With intermediate step, I mean a new kind of entity with its own format

I like the idea

Many times, breaking long chains makes them more understandable to me

It's the old idea of composability, if you want

It's like refactoring a huge procedure in several smaller ones

It also resembles a sort of ETL process or some sort of "data science"
task of "massaging" data for some later analisys phase

In a way, doing this would in itself push language communities to think
about their approach (of releasing blobs)

I doubt they would start such an initiative themselves, they wouldn't
have begun releasing blobs in the first place

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