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Re: Newbie thoughts on Guile Hall + Guix

From: Blake Shaw
Subject: Re: Newbie thoughts on Guile Hall + Guix
Date: Wed, 09 Feb 2022 17:30:06 +0700

Catonano <> writes:

Hi Adriano, 

> 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 think this type of response should be taken seriously by all of
us, and we should seek to know why this happens for some users, as I've
seen plenty of people express the same sentiment. Guile seems to be a
community that takes pride in its openness, so in order to grow it seems
we should seek to know:

    + Where do some users get stuck?
    + What kind of applications are they trying to write?

We might find that there is a lot of overlap where there is a set of
solutions for doing things, but its difficult to find out where to find
the know-how. If we are able to recognize this, we are closer to address
the issues, and it seems like something many guile users have in common
is that they want to make the community and learning experience better.

> 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 feel you! And there seems to be many others who have had similar experiences.

Perhaps a survey is due. Are those who are highly productive in guile
relying heavily on the FFI? What is their workflow and how does it
differ from those who are hitting walls?

> 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 
> building
> And about delimited continuations
> And, and, and....
Totally. I think many of us can relate. 
> 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

And so that we can work on cool projects together, and grow as a
community :)

> 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

Thanks! I'm glad to be here and meet you. I'm about to attempt my first
professional project that will use Guile, and I'm a bit
nervous. Nevertheless, I'm the type of nerd that has always used obscure
academic programming systems for commercial art projects, and theres
certainly something sisyphean about it, as it means that I end up
writing a lot of C, which brings me little pleasure. But as a former
Puredata programmer, I realize that when you get in the swing of things
it usually pays off majorly, especially the aspect of being a part of a
community that is small and close-nit.

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

I'd hope the Guile community can similarly refrain from taking criticism
personally, and recognize that everyone is here to contribute to
something we see as powerful, beautiful, and reflects humanity's better
attributes. Nobody is here to bring the community down... we're here to
build, and see our contributions grow like a nice garden of blooming
hacks and programs :)
> 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
Without a doubt. I think we're all here for community, free software,
and comradely discourse, not just scheme.
> 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
I'm super glad folks have taken to it well! It's the type of subject
that can get bogged down in bikeshedding when too many long-time users
are set in their ways. So the fact that folks seem to be excited about
it, seems to indicate that won't be the case this time around.
> After so many years I still can't tell where to look in it when I need 
> something
Let's fix that! :)

Looking forward to your feedback on my presentation.

“In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni”

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