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Re: Guix and Emacs Integration for Polyglot Development

From: George Clemmer
Subject: Re: Guix and Emacs Integration for Polyglot Development
Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2018 15:32:58 -0400
User-agent: mu4e 1.0; emacs 26.1

Alex Kost <address@hidden> writes:

> George Clemmer (2018-10-26 16:56 -0400) wrote:
>> I have another question. Is there a shortcut to
>> guix-installed-system-packages in the popup that I am missing?
> No, there is a direct shortcut.  Currently there are 2 "long" ways
> to access system packages from "M-x guix":
> 1) setting current profile to the system one ("p" in "packages"
> sub-popup) and openning installed packages (with "i" key), or
> 2) through *Guix Profiles* buffer (which can be accessed with "M-x guix
> P a"): there you can move to the system profile and press "P".

I also found ... 'M-x guix P s P' ... which I had missed and is all I
want/need ;-)

> I'm afraid, I am not going to add a shortcut for system packages inside
> "packages" sub-popup, as it and "profiles" sub-popup are designed to
> work with the current profile, so if you want to open packages or
> generations from some profile, you need to make it the current one at
> first.
> But maybe it would be good to add a new sub-popup for system commands,
> where a key for system packages will be placed, WDYT?

I agree with your approach.  I think this is all REALLY GREAT STUFF. You
can leave it just the way it is and I will be happy.

FWIW, here are a few comments/ideas ...

It would be handy if 'quit-window' in the final buffer reached via
*guix-popup* took me take me back 'UP' the "tree" of sub-popups that
lead there so I could chose another option.

With regard to system/user profiles. First, to state what may not be
obvious to a novice guix user ...

- In addition to the "default user" profile, you may use multiple "user
  project" profiles.

- In practice, a novice uses the packages in the union of the system and
  default "user" profile. A more advanced user may have 1 or more
  "project" profiles as well.

- The system profile is fundamentally "a different kind of
  animal". There is only one and you need different guix "tools" to
  modify it.

In the present design, presenting the system profile as "just another
profile" in *Guix Profiles* leads to slapping the user's hand if/when
they try to change the system profile, E.g.,

    user-error: Packages cannot be installed or removed to/from profile 
    Use ’guix system reconfigure’ shell command to modify a system profile.

If, as you suggest, you create the system sub-popup, you might consider
removing the system profile from *Guix Profiles* since the user can get
to the system profile package list via system generations + 'P'. Of
course, you may still choose to show the user the error message above,
but it would no longer be an asymmetric behavior on one of a group of
things presented as equals.

It might be useful to allow the user to see system profile packages in
the context a user/project profile. E.g., a key could toggle the system
profile packages into and out of the *Guix Packages * list view.

HTH - George

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