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Re: Newbie thoughts on Guile Hall + Guix

From: Ognen Duzlevski
Subject: Re: Newbie thoughts on Guile Hall + Guix
Date: Sun, 06 Feb 2022 09:53:00 -0500
User-agent: mu4e 1.6.9; emacs 27.2

Vijay Marupudi <> writes:

> 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.

Have you tried Racket? If you haven't - try that and you will find
recommending Guile to beginners to be much easier ;). On a serious note,
there are other schemes that have their own package managers (e.g. Racket).

> 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.

IMHO, this learning curve is a part of learning any language. The reason
why every language comes with a language "specific" manager is because a
lot of people have tried to solve this problem and failed to find the
magic bullet. At some level you are relying on the language's
portability itself, then on the same level you are wanting to exploit
some of the language's specifics, then on the same level someone comes
along and says for some packages this approach doesn't work... ;)

> 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.

I agree. I have already been through the learning curve of Emacs, scheme
etc. At what point do I focus on just getting my job done and having a life
outside of the computer instead of constantly being on the treadmill of
learning one more concept/tool/specific to get a small benefit out of
it? People should always remember the 80/20 principle...

There are 2 mistakes along the way to mastery: 1. Not starting the journey 2. 
Not going all the way

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