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Re: How to present Guix to a wider audience

From: Todor Kondić
Subject: Re: How to present Guix to a wider audience
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 2020 11:03:46 +0000

‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
On Wednesday, 15 January 2020 18:44, sirgazil <address@hidden> wrote:

> Hi, Pierre
> ---- On Wed, 15 Jan 2020 03:59:00 -0500 Pierre Neidhardt address@hidden wrote 
> ----
> > Thank you all for the reviews and the kind feedback!
> >
> > It seems that the draft was met with success for now.
> > So what about including it on Guix' website, maybe with a big link to it
> > on the front page?
> I think the problem of "What is Guix?" should be solved before doing that 
> (see
> Personally, I think GNU Guix and its related operating system should be 
> presented separately.
> I think that GNU Guix is not a software that needs to be explained to the 
> average computer user. GNU Guix, in my opinion, is a software for system 
> administrators and developers in any field, and it would be good to present 
> it clearly to them in general and provide explanations for particular fields 
> whenever necessary (that's what the section "GNU Guix in your field" in the 
> home page was designed for).
> Even though one of GNU Guix goals is to empower users, average users are more 
> into installing and removing application, and that's about it. Ideally, not 
> using a command-line interface directly but a graphical user interface (e.g. 
> an app store).
> The operating system, on the other hand, should be presented to average 
> users, and it should be called simply GNU. With this I mean that the GNU 
> project should use GNU Guix to generate downloadable installers of what they 
> call the GNU Operating System in their home page and distribute these 
> installers through the website. The pages of should be 
> updated accordingly and focus on presenting the GNU operating system to the 
> general public. This would include adding high-level information of the 
> features GNU Guix brings with it (reproducibility, bootstrappability, etc.) 
> which would differentiate GNU from other systems. For advanced uses of the 
> system that require deeper understanding of GNU Guix, advanced users should 
> be directed to the GNU Guix subdomain. The rest of the current Free Software 
> Distributions (Trisquel, PureOS, Parabola, etc.) would still be listed in 
> as alternative distributions of the GNU Operating System. I know that 
> RMS opposed to this idea a couple of years ago 
> (,
>  but I think this should be done.
> I think this separation could make it easier to outreach to potential users 
> of both artifacts, the OS and the "software environment manager". Calling the 
> OS just GNU would also help differentiate this system from what the general 
> public call "linux".

I am sorry, but Guix should most definitively be presented to average *nix 
based users (the admins of their own/family workstations). It's like: "Look, 
now your grandmother, her cat and your dog can all install packages without 
knowing your sudo password!". This feature alone is highly appealing to some 
circles ;) .

As for more "advanced" users, from the experience I had when talking about Guix 
to the unconverted hackers, they struggle to accept why is it so much better 
than the already hyped technologies that Just Work, such as Chef/Puppet and 
other CI/CD for automating installations (*), Docker/Singularity on their own 
for building containers etc, especially because it is based on an 'exotic' 
language  as Scheme (exotic was the exact word that has been used in a certain 
conversation with an experienced professional developer). Disclaimer: I started 
using Guix because it was based on Guile.

Of course, different target groups should be, well, targeted with different 
aspects of Guix -- those that may appeal to them. And, there is more to Guix 
than just the pkg manager and the OS.

Also, to be fair, Guix is the first complex program of the GNU system I am 
aware of that started making waves in modern times, so on the presentation 
front some things have already been done well.

* I am not an expert on this, so I am not sure whether Guix can fit in the same 
workflow with the mentioned tools, or is in a parallel, or an orthogonal 

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