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Re: [RFC] Moving to Guile 2.2 and away from GUB

From: Carl Sorensen
Subject: Re: [RFC] Moving to Guile 2.2 and away from GUB
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2021 19:54:45 +0000
User-agent: Microsoft-MacOutlook/10.10.1b.201012

Hi, Jonas,

I think your plan sounds good.

I think GUB was a great idea, but it has proven difficult to maintain.  And the 
creator of GUB (Jan), has indicated that he thinks it is not worth continuing 
to work on.  So GUB has been a dead man walking for some time.

I LOVE the idea of build scripts that don't need another special build tool.  I 
am somewhat concerned about their robustness relative to checking for 
appropriate versions of required prerequisites.  You will demonstrate that the 
scripts work by building all of the targets.  I' not sure we will have any 
tests that show what happens when someone tries to build in an inappropriate 
environment.  And maybe this is not necessary, as we will be providing 
binaries.  Hopefully the build scripts will be accessible enough that somebody 
who wished could modify them for a different target (although that represents a 
*very* small market; certainly smaller than the Windows 64-bit market).

I  think we need to move off of the Guile 1.8 platform; distributions are no 
longer supporting it.  As far as I can see, Guile 2.2 is fast enough for the 
typical user use case.  IIRC, it has some start-up overhead, but runs almost as 
fast as 1.8 if you discount the overhead.   The current major problem with 2.2 
as far as I understand it is that it is very slow in building docs, because the 
start-up overhead happens for every snippet.  I think the biggest risk for this 
is a bigger likelihood for developers to skip the make doc step, which used to 
be the gold standard for committing.

I love the idea of static binaries, instead of dynamic linking.  

The risk of your proposal is pretty low in the short term is pretty low, 
because if the Guile 2.2/new script package blows up, we can always go back to 
GUB and try again later (not that I'm expecting it, but I'm looking worst-case 
right now).



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