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Re: common software

From: Ricardo Wurmus
Subject: Re: common software
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2018 20:14:54 +0100
User-agent: mu4e 1.0-alpha3; emacs 25.3.1

Hi George,

> But Ludo’ what is convenient for you is not convenient for the Guix
> noob: They are most likely already using a mainstream GNU/Linux distro
> on a notebook or desktop. When they try any other distro they expect it
> to provide similar stuff to what their distro provided out of the box.
> By not doing this we a) fail to meet expectations and b) force them into
> the Guix config-o-rama, which, if we are honest, is not friendly: it's
> in scheme, far from obvious, and produces errors that helpful only to
> someone who already understands Guix.

Re errors: recently this has greatly been improved.  I’m now told that
I probably forgot to include a certain module, and how I can fix it.
Granted, simple syntax errors aren’t reported nicely, but that’s a
problem in Guile (and there’s a bug report for it).

But that’s beside the point: users who install software they need into
their user profile do not do this in the operating system configuration!
So they don’t have to touch it at all to get things like “file” or

I also think you’re greatly exaggerating the “unfriendliness” of Guix

> This is why we should change the templates so that GuixSD comes OOTB
> with the same stuff as any mainstream distro. IOW, we should quickly get
> the noob running GuixSD and only then show them how cool guix-profile
> is.

Guix is all about user freedom.  Providing a bigger set of defaults
isn’t really helping, because then we’re then telling other people to
remove the packages from their configs if they don’t like them.  I much
prefer a constructive approach where you *add* what you want rather than
remove what you find was installed without your knowledge.

We already have configuration templates for different systems:
bare-bones, lightweight-desktop, and desktop.  We could add more:
audio-workstation (for common recording tools, preconfigured JACK, and
some extra kernel settings), graphics-workstation (blender, gimp,
imagemagick, etc), … But I’d leave that up to whoever feels like
maintaining and testing these templates.


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