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Re: Idea: Function composition to declare operating-system

From: Théo Maxime Tyburn
Subject: Re: Idea: Function composition to declare operating-system
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2022 12:52:33 +0200
User-agent: mu4e 1.8.7; emacs 28.1.90

Hi muradm!

muradm <> writes:


>> For example to add jackd to my system I need to add the "realtime"
>> group, add some users to this group and add a pam-limits-service. If
>> I
>> want to remove this functionality from my system using the
>> declarative
>> approach I have to look down my config file for places where I added
>> these things. Usually I partially solve this problem by putting
>> comments
>> to signal the purpose of each code block in the system declaration.
>> But wouldn’t it be better if I just had a function `add-jackd` that
>> takes an
>> operating-system instance and returns the os with the extra
>> functionalities ?
> To clarify, do you ask that in the end of the day, some where
> in (gnu services ...) there should be exported `add-jackd`
> function? If so, I beleive that this will increase cross
> dependency between things, thus decreasing flexibility.
> Imagine `add-jackd` maintainer should always keep track on
> what is being added into guix, that potentially may cause
> conflict with jackd and/or require adjustments in `add-jackd`
> function implementation.
> Also, IMHO, implementation of `add-jackd` would be very
> much opinionated.

Actually I was thinking that the functions that build up the system like
`add-jackd` would be written by users. It is still user
configuration, just packaged in a function. So no one would "have to"
maintain it. But this could still provide an easy way to share
independent parts of a system configs. Especially for features requiring a
complex setup, a canonical configuration could be something you would want to 
maintain. But
it would be up to the maintainer.

Assuming tough, someone wants to maintain `add-jackd` under (gnu
services ...), it should not be more maintenance effort than the effort
each and every user of jackd has to put so that it’s system
configuration doesn’t break. So I don’t see anything against it. But I
might be wrong.

>> So that was the purpose of the experimentation. It didn’t turn out
>> to be
>> too complicated to implement. At least for my use case, I just
>> needed to add two helper
>> functions to extend users and services fields. The rest is handled
>> directly by
>> record inheritance and by accessing the fields of the input
>> operating-system.
>> The final declaration looks like this:
>> ((apply compose (reverse os-functions)) minimal-os)
> [...]
>> (define* (extend-operating-system-services os services #:key (drop
>> '()) (keep '()))
>>   (append (filter (lambda (service)
>>                                      (not (member (service-type-name 
>> (service-kind
>> service))
>>                                                               (filter 
>> (lambda (s) (not (member s
>> keep)))
>>  (append drop
>> %fixed-system-service-types)))))
>>                                (operating-system-services os))
>>                services))
> I suppose this could be useful to have it in guix toolbox,
> although I would prefer to have (required '(account activate ...))
> or (required %fixed-system-service-types) optional argument,
> instead of refering to global constant %fixed-system-service-types,
> which might not satisfy everyone requirements.

I agree, better make this optional. If anything, only this this kind of
helper function would be added to guix so that users can define their
system conveniently using this function composition approach. 

>> and also force keeping or dropping of some services if needed. The
>> list
>> of services that gets duplicated seems to be this one:
>> (define %fixed-system-service-types
>>   '(account activate boot cleanup etc file-systems firmware   fstab
>> guix host-name linux-bare-metal linux-builder pam   profile
>> root-file-system session-environment setuid-program   shepherd-root
>> system user-processes))
>> I generated the list by just checking which services get duplicated,
>> so I am not
>> very sure about it. There surely is a better way to get it.
>> Anyway I can now define a function adding desktop functionalities:
>> (define (x-os os)
>>   (operating-system
>>    (inherit os)
>>    (services
>>      (extend-operating-system-services
>>       os
>>       (list
>>        ;; slim display manager
>>        (service slim-service-type
>>                         (slim-configuration
>>                              (display ":0")
>>                              (vt "vt7")
>>                              (theme %default-slim-theme)
>>                              (theme-name %default-slim-theme-name)
>>                              (xorg-configuration
>>                               (xorg-configuration
>>                                (keyboard-layout 
>> (operating-system-keyboard-layout
>> os)))))))
>>       #:drop '(gdm)))
>>    (packages (cons*
>>                        ;; window managers
>>                        i3-wm python-py3status
>>                        emacs-nc-exwm-xdg
>>                        (operating-system-packages os)
>>                        ))))
>> Of course there is room for some macros to make this more elegant,
>> but
>> this is the rough idea.
>> In a way it feels like treating the operating-system like a service
>> you can extend. Maybe it would even make sense to implement this as
>> a
>> service ? Not sure about that.
>> It seems it would also be reasonable to have something like an
>> operating-system-configuration record and a way to compose some
>> before
>> putting them into an operating-system record (it seems to be the
>> approach rde `features` are based on). But I felt too lazy to copy
>> all the
>> fields from the operating-system record definition. There might be a
>> way to get all the fields programatically and define a
>> record/configuration though.
>> Anyway, what do you think about this functionality? Have you already
>> experimented with similar things?
>> Did I reinvent the wheel? Is there a better approach?
> Did you try using (modify-services ...)? Basically, you can
> achieve similar goal within services list only with it.

Yes you are right, that would also do the trick. There is actually no
real need for the helper function defined above. One would just have to
pass the list of service-types that gets duplicated to (delete TYPE) in
modify-services. I am not aware of a way of deleting a list of
service-types easily using modify-services without defining a macro
though, so it seems you need some sort of helper function anyway.

> Thanks in advance,
> muradm

Thanks for the return,


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