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Discussion on Parameterized Packages

From: Sarthak Shah
Subject: Discussion on Parameterized Packages
Date: Thu, 11 May 2023 20:38:00 +0530

Hello Guix!
I'll be working on bringing Parameterized Packages to Guix for GSoC 2023 under the guidance of Gábor and Pjotr. I've been a Guix user for a few years now as it works great for Common Lisp and Scheme projects, and I've always wanted to contribute to it as it has one of the best codebases I've seen. Parameterized Packages will serve as an awesome feature that leverages Guix's dedication to ensuring that all packages can be compiled from source.
Parameterized Packages will introduce functionality similar to Gentoo's USE flags, making it possible to change compile-time options for packages. This will provide users with a lot more freedom over what features they'd like to include or exclude from packages, and also aid with reducing the size of binaries.
I have provided a detailed outline of parameterized packages and the proposed user interface for interacting with them (for both users and maintainers) in this post on my blog:
I would really appreciate feedback on
(1) parameters you'd like to see in Guix
(2) the user interface for searching/installing/packaging with parameters
A lot of these details are still in a draft phase and thus any suggestions that could help polish them would be awesome!
Here's a list of parameters I think would be cool to have:
graphics-related: x11, gtk, qt, motif etc.
media-related: png, jpeg, mp4, flac etc.
playback-related: pulseaudio, alsa, jack etc.
locales: en_us, ja_jp etc.
(possibly) optimizations: jit, o3, ofast, lto, graphite etc.
fundamental: unicode, debug, examples etc.

Please let me know what you think!
Happy Hacking,

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