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Re: Newbie thoughts on Guile Hall + Guix

From: Catonano
Subject: Re: Newbie thoughts on Guile Hall + Guix
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2022 07:28:27 +0100

Hi Blake,

I'm Adriano <>, it' just happens that I'm reading
this message of yours from another account

Il giorno mar 8 feb 2022 alle ore 14:39 Blake Shaw <> ha scritto:

> Vijay Marupudi <> writes:
> > I don't think it's fair to say that using packages in Guile just as
> > easy/hard as other languages. Python / Javascript make this incredibly
> > easy, and their ecosystem is evidence for that success. Their package
> > managers have flaws, but they have benefits too, and those benefits
> > would be great for Guile.
> I would just like to tag onto this convo that I agree that its not fair
> to say that Guile is easy and will quickly bless those who endeavor to
> learn it with superpowers. My experience w/Racket was very smooth and I
> got working in it very quickly. I was a contracted to work on a project in
> Python a few months ago and without ever studying it I was able to
> start doing production work in it (ridiculous how intuitive it is,
> really). Before I started learning Guile I read Edwin Brady's book on
> Idris and found Idris much easier to get from start to end of small
> projects I was working on (because there is a well written book on it).
> While Guile has become my favorite programming language, it took me
> several months to learn how to navigate & figure out how to navigate the
> SRFIs, how to plan a program so that I can know what to expect along the
> way (what features I'll need to implement myself, etc) before I was able
> to get productive in it beyond the realm of Guix. And I think most would
> agree that Scheme is a less advanced language than Idris (I did some
> category theory in school so I have some intuition for the ideas, but
> still). And to be honest, I still hit plenty of road blocks.
> There were definitely some times where I was digging around trying to
> figure out how to do things and came across messages in the archives
> saying "its so easy you just do [vague hand wavy explanation]". And I
> found that quite frustrating, like there is an insularity meant to weed
> out the bad apples. And when this topic popped up on the guix list a few
> weeks ago some others expressed similar concerns, folks who are doing
> very impressive work. A programming language should never make
> programmers feel dumb -- it should make us feel empowered!

I personally believe this is a good chunk of why Guile wasn't as successful
as Python

With Guile the overall experience is extremely frustrating

I've been hanging around here for years, on and off, and overall I haven't
done anything, in Guile

I managed to do some widgets in clojurescript, some modest datapipes in
Clojure, a game of life with some 2d graphics library in Clojure

I made some things in Python

In Guile ?

Nothing, nisba, nada

I can relate to the experience of feeling frustrated about how casually
some things are referred to on Guile channels

Last time it was about the new exceptions

But I remember I asked for an example of some usage of the APIs for web
serving in Guile, some years ago

I was kindly offered an example by Andy Wingo nonetheless

But then I could follow up, I got lost, I don't remember why exactly, but I
was ashamed to keep gong n any way

Something similar happened when I asked about lazyness

I don't think I've ever seen a community that suffers the curse of
knowledge more than the Guile community

This is why I was enticed to attempt the only video in my life about how to
read a file (a basic use case) with Guile

And I'm mumbling to do a new series about project management and package

And about delimited continuations

And, and, and....

That is, my hope now is that Guile can be made into something empowering,
so that it will be useful to someone else in the future

rather than disempowering as it has always been (for me at least)

I've been terribly frustrated about this in the past and I'm so refreshed
to see you landing here, in Guile land

One final note: while I have been emotional about this in the past, I
believe I'm not being emotional now

My remarks are not meant to disparage the Guile/Guix community, I
acknowledge the generosity of this community, overall

I just think that it's right and useful to raise perceived problems

And I think this initiative to reconsider the structure of the manual is
one of the best things that happened in a very long time

After so many years I still can't tell where to look in it when I need

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