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Re: Newbie thoughts on Guile Hall + Guix

From: Ricardo Wurmus
Subject: Re: Newbie thoughts on Guile Hall + Guix
Date: Sun, 06 Feb 2022 15:03:25 +0100
User-agent: mu4e 1.6.10; emacs 27.2

Mikael Djurfeldt <> writes:

> I also think that there is a need for something light-weight and cross
> platform. I think, e.g., that PyPI is one of the main reasons for the
> success of Python and that the lack of something in that direction is
> holding Guile back.

PyPI is a good example for the kind of problems that all language
package managers end up having.  Language package managers have no way
of clearly expressing dependencies that are not written in the target
language.  This happens surprisingly often.

When installing something with PyPi you may end up downloading a whole
bunch of pre-compiled (and potentially unusable) binaries.  A good
example of this is pytorch, but sadly it’s far from an unusual case.

R has similar difficulties, and it has probably the sanest way of
dealing with them: it just assumes the system has a suitable toolchain
and libraries and headers and all that and builds everything from source.

> I'm not sure that "light-weight" should mean pure scheme, though, since
> that would exclude things dependent upon external libraries, like
> NumPy.

Requiring the Guile-only package manager to also support installing
system libraries dooms it to reimplementing parts of Guix poorly.


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