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Re: Packaging existing software for Guix

From: Ricardo Wurmus
Subject: Re: Packaging existing software for Guix
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2022 17:55:49 +0200
User-agent: mu4e 1.6.10; emacs 28.0.50


Cássio Tavares <> writes:

>    1. If I submit an issue with a package request, does it take long for
>    the package to be made available?

It can take quite some time when you don’t have someone to review the
package.  You are welcome to send me issue numbers with your patches and
I’ll review them more quickly.

>    2. Can someone with only a very basic understanding of the Scheme (and
>    the functional paradigm) package software successfully enough to submit it
>    to the Guix project?

Yes.  Ignore the language.  Most of the package definition is just
data.  You can even write a package definition as JSON first and then
have Guix convert it to the Guix DSL.

>    3. Would that be very time-consuming (because my work is in a very
>    different area)? Is the learning curve steep?

It depends on the software.  If an application follows well-established
conventions it can be trivial to package it.  On the other hand, some
software can be nearly impossible to package (e.g. Tensorflow 2).

Nixpkgs is often not a good template, because more often than not they
are cutting corners when it comes to bootstrapping or building from source.

>    4. As far as I could understand, when defining a package from a git
>    repository, I have to specify the package version and commit. Does this
>    mean that I will forever have to check for new versions and edit the
>    package definition to update it?

Yes, just like with any other source code.  You can make Guix use a
different source with transformations on the command line, but we try to
keep things up-to-date.

>    5. Is there a relatively simple way to port packages from other distros
>    into Guix? Could this be an automated process?

Not from other distros but from upstream repositories; see “guix
import”.  If you want a fun project you could work on extending “guix
import” to import from distro archives.


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