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

From: Blake Shaw
Subject: Re: Proposal: Deep Dive into the Guile Docs & Makeover Proposal
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2022 23:58:45 +0700

Blake Shaw <> writes:
hiya guix,

my apologies again for the hold up in getting this video to
everyone. for those who won't have time to view it, I will rehash the
suggested changes in the 5 minutes before; perhaps because of the delay
in being able to get this together for everyone we can view my session
as more of a "birds of a feather" project.

also, I unfortunately went over my allotted time by spending a bit too
much time on my about me. so please feel free to skip past the first 20
minutes of the video.

if you are *very* pressed for time, there is also a fair amount of Guile
trivia opening onto the documentation section. if you want to cut that
out as well, skipping to around the 30 minute mark should be fine.

thanks and my apologies again; writing software freelance for a living
at times makes commitments to free software difficult to uphold.

looking forward to any feedback.

> Dear Guix (and guile users, who I've Cc'd),
> My apologies for turning this in last minute. There had been
> discussion about this proposal on the guix mailing list, and I had
> missed that I need to submit a formal proposal until roptat mentioned
> it at Fosdem. Nonetheles here it is:
> * TITLE:  A Deep Dive into the Guile Documentation & Makeover Proposal
> * FORMAT: Standard Talk
> * LENGTH: Approximately 30 minutes (pre-recorded)
> 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 instance, is only 450 pages, while
> the Rust Book is approximately 550 pages.
> Serving at once as a referrence manual & API specification, the large
> size may in part be attributed to what simultaneously makes Guile an
> appealing project to contribute to, while also rendering the
> documentation process somewhat delicate: Guile is a massive collective
> project featuring the contributions of many authors over the course of
> three decades, contributions which Guilers would hate to trivialize or
> treat as insignificant or edit away on a whim. Additionally, Guile
> comes from a long set of traditions within Scheme hacking which itself
> is deep with sage wisdom spanning many pedagogical philosophies and
> one of the greatest literature traditions of hacker culture. Is it
> possible to perform a makeover of the Guile Documentation while
> respecting these historical threads, at once rendering it more
> approachable for new users while not forsaking the deep nuggets of
> wisdom that lie therein?
> Since mid-December I have been mulling over these questions as
> newcomer, both studying & analyzing the docs, and trying to come to
> grips with it's strengths and shortcomings. For this talk, I will
> present my research to the Guix community, culminating with a plan for
> a full makeover of the existing docs which would respect the above
> concerns. I will use the 5 minute presentation to focus on the plan of
> action, with hopes that during the Q&A we can come to consensus on
> what is to be done. The decisions made by the group will form the
> basis of a proposal to be made to the Guile community, and once
> everyone is in agreement with plans for how to move forward I will
> undertake the effort to implement the makeover proposal.
> Additionally, as a newcomer to Guix, I will use the first 10 minutes
> of my talk to briefly introduce my work and how I'm using Guix & Guile
> to create a remotely deployed large-scale public interactive video
> mapping installation commissioned by the city of Singapore which will
> be installed in Marina Bay at the heart of the city this summer for 8
> weeks from June - August 2022.
> * BIO:
> Blake Shaw is a media artist and theorist most well known as one of
> the founders of the SWEATSHOPPE urban media art collective. His works
> have been shown in over 40 cities on every continent of the world
> (excluding Antarctica) at venues including: The Venice Biennale
> (2017), The Brooklyn Museum, Akademie de Kunste Berlin, The Museum of
> the Moving Image, The Biennial of the America, Luminato (Toronto), The
> Media Architecture Biennale, and the Museum of Contemporary Art
> Zagreb. His work have been featured in publications including The New
> York Times and the Atlantic, and online they have been viewed over 30
> million times across various channels. He holds a Masters degree in
> Philosophy from the EGS Switzerland, and was pursuing a PhD in the
> Philosophy of Mathematics under the supervision of Boris Groys prior
> to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni”

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