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Re: some questions about GUIX

From: Sam Halliday
Subject: Re: some questions about GUIX
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2015 23:35:09 +0000
User-agent: Notmuch/0.21 ( Emacs/24.5.1 (x86_64-pc-linux-gnu)

Thanks Ricardo,

Ricardo Wurmus writes:
> I’m not sure I understand what you mean here. I have been packaging a
> couple of Java things and the reliance on prebuilt jars and Maven
> causes quite a few problems. This is the single most important reason
> why there isn’t much of Java to be found in Guix yet.

If the GUIX-SD goal is to build every package from source, then I can
see why you're doing it this way. It is possible to achieve this noble
goal, but you are embarking on an absolutely *gigantic* mission.

> Building a full non-trivial Java application from source without
> resorting to some black box jars along the way is very difficult. I’m
> still working on slowly packaging the dependencies of log4j, one jar
> at a time, ... and I even forgot why I’m working on log4j because the
> dependency graph for an arbitrary Java package is overwhelmingly
> large.

I'm not sure I would refer to Maven Central binaries as "black box". The
jars on Maven Central are digitally signed by the distributors and the
source jars are available beside them, with meta data such as license
and homepages available in the pom file.

It should not be difficult to set up Maven and Ivy to only use a
GUIX-hosted repository (many organisations do this), or a local
repository, but it will involve an incredible amount of effort to
actually *rebuild* everything, as you are discovering.

What practical benefit does rebuilding on the GUIX farm actually bring?
Is there a claim that the binary build can be traced directly to a
"trusted" machine and source code?

In the Scala community, there is an attempt to rebuild a range of free
software projects as part of the continuous integration of the scala
compiler itself:

It may be worthwhile collaborating with the authors in order to avoid
duplicating efforts.

> We are building library for library as individual packages in Guix. We
> certainly won’t bundle prebuilt jars from Maven if it can be avoided
> at all.

As a Java / Scala developer, I consider the maven / ivy dependency
tracking to be the environment where I define the exact and definitive
versions of dependencies that I require and I would not be happy
depending on the GUIX-SD jars. Although, I would not object to using
GUIX-SD jars as a user, if the installation was easier than self-managed
and I did not experience and bugs as a result of the re-packaging.

I would be very interested if you had a way of integrating with Maven
Central artefacts in order to install applications, as it would make it
significantly easier for me, as a developer, to produce packages for

Best regards,

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