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Re: Proposal: Deep Dive into the Guile Docs & Makeover Proposal

From: Olivier Dion
Subject: Re: Proposal: Deep Dive into the Guile Docs & Makeover Proposal
Date: Tue, 08 Feb 2022 10:08:54 -0500

On Tue, 08 Feb 2022, Blake Shaw <> wrote:
> * SUMMARY: Recent discussions on the Guix mailing list revealed that
> many in the Guix community have found the Guile Reference Manual
> difficult to navigate as newcomers. That should come as no surprise --
> in PDF form, the docs span approximately /850 pages/, making it a
> quite hefty set of documents for an implementation of a minimal
> programming language like Scheme, even when compared to the
> documentation of relatively large PLs; the Racket Guide, for instannce,
> is only 450 pages, while the Rust Book is approximately 550 pages.

Don't forget that Guile as a lot of legacy stuff in its manual.  For
example `catch/throw` -- the old way of doing exception, althought it's
not clear what new projects should use -- is documented there.  There's
also the details of its implementation, indices, appendices, functions
in C, many SRFI and modules.  So it's true that scheme is a very simple
language, but Guile is not only Scheme.

I think there's certainly things that could be trim away to save some
space, maybe some restructuration, but I think that overall the manual
is great when you get use to it.

In my opinion, the thing that lack in the manual is a complete "How to
setup a project" example that is a more complex project than the tortoise
tutorial.  Having this section with condensed informations would be
easier for newbies than sparsed informations across hundreds of pages.
I had to learn that the hardway by reading multiple times the manual, and
looking at Guix and Guile source code.

Olivier Dion

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