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Re: how to write services (was: Re: Teams)

From: Brian Cully
Subject: Re: how to write services (was: Re: Teams)
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2022 09:09:48 -0400
User-agent: mu4e 1.6.11; emacs 28.1 writes:

I asked for indications about the process (what magic to use in the

My experience with Guix, in general, is that the REPL isn't particularly useful for any task beyond very simple testing (eg, what are the contents of ‘%base-services’). It's a shame, but I suspect it's like this because it's hard to make it more functional, and there are more important problems to work on. Even though I would much prefer to do almost all work with a REPL, I have not invested the effort into figuring it out because I don't have the time or expertise, currently. I can't fault anyone else for making similar choices.

This should be covered in the cookbook

I agree. The cookbook could use a lot of work. Guix's documentation suffers in the middle ranges. There's a lot of very high level overview, and all the low level bits are reasonably documented, but there's very little on how to integrate them.

If we were building a house, it'd be like having instructions that say: our house is made out of rooms. Then being given a bill of materials for all the different types of nails, boards, etc that can be used to build a house. There's no (or almost no) instructions for how to use those parts to build the shepherd service room, or how to connect the activation plumbing, etc. Unfortunately, those are the instructions that are most important, I think.

I have been keeping notes on my process of learning Guix in the hopes of starting something along these lines, but I'm not sure I'll ever have the time to get around to it; and I'm not much of a writer, besides.

In fact Tryton modules are not python modules and there's a patch
modifying how Tryton retrieves its modules in Guix

Yet there's no service for Tryton

This is the case for many packages. The good news(?) is that you can create your services your operating system config, and if you can get them working acceptably, send a patch.

I think the friction on how to write a service is not in the semantics

It's more menial

See above: there's no documentation for assembly. Everything I've learned was from studying the source.

As I'm writing this, I noticed someone replied to my toot
(here )

as you can see, they also noticed a difference in the experience
between creating home services and system services

I wasn't following this thread at the time, and didn't know whether you were talking about shepherd services or not. In terms of shepherd services, yes, there's quite a difference (maybe it would be a good idea to define a generic service type, akin to ‘home-shepherd-service-type’ that only extends the ‘shepherd-root-service-type’ with a shepherd service?). As I said there, if you have questions, feel free to ask! I may not be able to write the cookbook/how-to that I want to, but I can try to answer questions and share what little knowledge I do have with a fellow neophyte.

However, for the types of services you'd add to the ‘services’ slot of the home/operating-system config, I don't think there is much of a difference; or maybe none at all.

Guix is being successful, these days but that's an exception in the
free software world and more so in the GNU world

I'm happy that Guix is growing, and more people are using it and adding to it (I'm a recent adopter, too!). But I think it's still a niche distribution, and it shows in things like the documentation, the builds breaking, old or broken packages, etc.

I want to be very clear on this point, though: I don't blame anyone for this, and I don't mean to downplay anyone's work because of these problems. Creating and maintaining a distribution, especially one as different as Guix, is a tremendous amount of work, and it's frankly incredible how well Guix does on such a small core crew. It's simply impossible to have the same level of polish as a bigger, more established distribution, with an order of magnitude (or more) contributors.

I have a job now (and it has to do with Odoo), I also train in a gym, I like to spend the free time I have on the beach (as it's evident from my presence on the fediverse) so I don't know it's not like I have any
slots to assign to attempt this

We're, all of us, in a similar situation, and we're few in number (relatively), with a lot of work to do. I think this explains the state of Guix more than anything else.


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