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Re: Multiple profiles with Guix Home

From: Liliana Marie Prikler
Subject: Re: Multiple profiles with Guix Home
Date: Fri, 06 May 2022 23:32:53 +0200
User-agent: Evolution 3.42.1

Am Freitag, dem 06.05.2022 um 21:54 +0200 schrieb Maxime Devos:
> Liliana Marie Prikler schreef op vr 06-05-2022 om 20:40 [+0200]:
> > Note that 'applications' is not really a useful category.
> It is a clear thematic division to me.  Though it's a bit large,
> maybe 'applications' could be divided futher in more specific themes
> (‘office’ apps, games, terminal utilities, ...).
Yeah, that division makes more sense, but note that none of the
categories you cited call specifically for SSL_CERT_DIR/FILE.  It
really is curl, which you might categorize as "terminal utility", but
more accurately fits into "web" along with nss-certs, for example.

> > But what's more both nss-certs, glibc-locales and other packages
> > that on their own provide everything you need in a search path can
> > already be handled easily with existing mechanisms of Guix Home.
> I haven't found any such mechanism -- I haven't found any hits for
> 'GUIX_LOCPATH' or SSL_CERT_DIR/FILE'.  At most I've found
> 'environment-variables->setup-environment-script', but as user I just
> want to add packages to a profile and have it work without having to
> manually fiddle with environemnt variables.
I'm pretty sure Guix Home allows you to write your bashrc with gexps,
no?  So you could put (string-append "export SSL_CERT_DIR=" #$nss-certs
"/etc/ssl/certs") in there IIRC.

> > This is not a use case that calls for multiple profiles
> A separate 'data' profile looks like a use case for multiple thematic
> profiles to me.  As I understood it, being able to separate profiles
> as you like is the point of the proposed Guix Home?  Why prevent the
> user from making a ‘data’ profile?  Maybe a separate profile for time
> zones, certificates and locales doesn't seem useful to you, but it
> seems a practical subdivison to me.
Perhaps, but this requires more than simply a declarative way of
managing profiles, which is the main point here.  It would require
search-paths as first class citizens of profiles in addition to that,
which I already mentioned a few times in between.

> > and the fix to missing these single packages (assuming you want it
> > expressed solely in terms of profiles) would be to add them back to
> > the default profile 
> Merging the 'data' profile (or other profiles) back into another
> profile kind of defeats the purpose of aseparate profiles.  What if I
> don't have any default profile (or if a default profile is
> technically required, keep it empty)?
Well, even if you name it "data" your data profile would then be the de
facto default profile.  For the record, I'm not saying that the default
profile in ~/.guix-profile would be a hard requirement going forward,
because to a certain extent, managing multiple profiles with Guix Home
already addresses both the choice of its name and its location.  What
it does not (yet) address is the fact that you'll probably have a
kitchen sink profile left after neatly sorting all the other packages
into themes.  For now this seems to be as much a technical limitation
as it is a condition of human nature.  I'm fairly certain that we'll
start to see such extensions once we've implemented the system and
people are dissatisfied with the fact that they can't have a meaningful
data profile – thus either extending the home-profile-service-type to
account for those or finding other solutions that compose well through
guix home or guix itself.


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