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Re: Newbie thoughts on Guile Hall + Guix

From: Vijay Marupudi
Subject: Re: Newbie thoughts on Guile Hall + Guix
Date: Sun, 06 Feb 2022 09:28:33 -0500

Hello all,

I am similarly impressed by Guile Hall and wish for its continued
development and success.

> 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.

Let's not make perfect be the enemy of good here. A language specific
package manager does work to a certain extent. I sometimes struggle to
recommend Guile for beginners to programming, or even those that have
some experience (in academia atleast). That's not because the language
is not friendly, it really is simple and there is plenty of Scheme
learning material around. However, it's really hard to get into the
ecosystem without an understanding of C and its packaging system and
culture. And I want more scientists and beginners to use Guile who don't
have that knowledge.

As a relative new user of Guile, I had to learn a lot of adjacent
concepts about package management before I could become fluent with
Guile and split my code into modules and packages, and more importantly,
using other packages. Reducing the learning and effort barrier in this
regard, would be incredibly exciting, and I would like to help anyway I
can towards this effort.

Asking beginners to use Guix is too much of a jump I think. But get them
hooked on Guile with an easy package manager and a rich ecosystem, and I
think they will come to appreciate Guix and other free software
projects, like I did.

~ Vijay

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