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Re: Multiple profiles with Guix Home

From: Liliana Marie Prikler
Subject: Re: Multiple profiles with Guix Home
Date: Thu, 26 May 2022 01:36:28 +0200
User-agent: Evolution 3.42.1


Am Mittwoch, dem 25.05.2022 um 14:01 +0300 schrieb Andrew Tropin:
> On 2022-05-24 20:31, Liliana Marie Prikler wrote:
> > Hi,
> > 
> > Am Dienstag, dem 24.05.2022 um 14:55 +0300 schrieb Andrew Tropin:
> > 
> > > On 2022-05-23 19:05, Liliana Marie Prikler wrote:
> > > > [...]
> > > > I don't think I agree with this choice.  To satisfy both my own
> > > > use case of serving profiles in different locations from
> > > > another and another issue being raised w.r.t. configuring the
> > > > location of the .guix-home profile, I think we should make a
> > > > triple of location, optional short name, and manifest (which
> > > > may be generated from packages implicitly).  WDYT?
> > > > 
> > > 
> > > This service is intended for profiles managed by Guix Home, so
> > > every profile MUST be a part of home-environment (~/.guix-home is
> > > a symlink to it).  I don't see any meaningful reasons to make it
> > > possible to customize the path inside home-environment.
> > Why though?  The decision to restrict Guix Home to dotfiles was
> > already a bad one that has since been overturned, so I think we
> > should carefully evaluate why "~/.guix-home" even is special.  In
> > my point of view, any path that is prefixed with the user's home
> > ought to be fair game, as should be constructing intermediate per-
> > user profile symlinks in /var/guix.
> It's not bad, it had and has its own goals, pros and cons, I found
> another design descision, which we think is more intuitive, but still
> partially serving original goals and we switched to it.  The
> disucssion about ~/.guix-home symlink itself is unrelated to both
> "dotfiles question" and my original statement.
Perhaps it's only tangentially related, but it highlights a point of
contention that I have with Guix Home overall, being that it takes a
few very idiosyncratic "shortcuts", that I don't think make too much
sense in the wider sense of Guix.  Consider %profile-directory, for
example.  I can't see it anywhere in the code for Guix Home, so I
assume generations are currently littered into the user home.  The
specific choice of moving ~/.guix-profile to ~/.guix-home is another.
Assume I only want to use Guix Home for one or two config files, well
nope you can't unless you're willing to move you packages as well or
willing to have a pointless symlink that you didn't ask for.

Don't get me wrong, this is still mostly about managing multiple
profiles with Guix Home, but the way I see it, Guix Home's own profile
management could also be improved.

> All dot/xdg/other files belong to home-environment and no side-
> effects are done during the build of home-environment, the only side-
> effects happens during activation and $HOME touched only by symlink-
> manager and I would like to keep it to be the case, otherwise we will
> end up with tons of stateful ad-hoc hacks.
I struggle to see how my proposal would complicate that other than
adding more jobs to symlink manager (perhaps?).  For what it's worth, I
do think that job could be much simplified too by storing the symlinks
in an association list
(("~/path/to/symlink" "/gnu/store/path/to/target") ...),
which could be part of a Guix Home "profile" just like manifest.scm is
part of a normal Guix profile.  The activation script would then read
this table, expand "~" (as well as check that it is the first letter i
each of the first paths) and create the symlinks according to spec. 
Best of all, it doesn't even matter that much if the target is in the
store, in /var/guix/profiles/per-user, or even another place relative
to ~.  

Note that I believe that at the point of writing this file variables
such as $XDG_CONFIG_HOME should already have been resolved relative to
$HOME, with the former being specified in home-configuration or
assuming their usual defaults.  YMMV on whether that's actually useful,
one could alternatively allow $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/ etc. as leading
sequences too, though that invites more errors when experimenting with
homeless shelters outside of clean shells.

> That said, I would like to avoid any Guix Home logic to rely on paths
> outside of home-environment.  In case you really need
> ~/work/my-project/guix-profile to be created for some reason you can
> extend home-files-service-type and rely on symlink-manager to do this
> dirty job, but the setup-environment script will still source
> home-environment/profiles/your-profile-name and won't know anything
> about ~/work/my-project/guix-profile.
Sounds dirty.

> > 
> > 
> > > 

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