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* Meta Guix: why guix is awesome!
@ 2021-04-28 17:20 Joshua Branson
  2021-04-28 23:52 ` Leo Prikler
  0 siblings, 1 reply; 4+ messages in thread
From: Joshua Branson @ 2021-04-28 17:20 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: guix-devel


Hello guix developers!

Guix is brilliantly fantastic!  I thought I would write down some of the
things that make guix such a great community and a powerful free
software tool.  I intend this email to encourage guix developers and
perhaps encourage other free software projects to copy guix's success.

1. It encourages non-english speaking participation.  Guix's manual is
   a work of art that has been translated into a few languages:
   German, Spanish, French, Russian, and Chinese?  Honestly my font in
   my browser can't read the last translation...but I think it's
   Mandorin (spelling?)  Anyway, guix has a strong push to NOT be an
   American only project.  It also has some email lists for
   non-english speakers.  That is awesome!  I had never thought about
   non-English mailing lists, but there certainly are non-english
   speakers that would love to get help.  Also the website is
   available many languages.

2. Guix's leadership is non-political.  I recall on the mailing list
   an issue raised about freedom of speech concerns.  Many emotion
   emails went back and forth over this issue with guix developers
   expressing a variety of opinions.  I actually felt encouraged that
   Ludo did NOT say anything in this email exchange.  That signaled to
   me that Ludo doesn't care what your political views are.  Anyone
   and everyone is free to contribute to guix regardless of what you
   believe!

3. It has great marketing.  I think this really ought to be stressed a
   lot!  Guix has numerous blog posts that demonstrate that the
   project is alive.  And they are really well written.  And engaging!
   I absolutely love guix's blog!  And the website is hip!  And it's
   got great artwork!

4.  Some people work full time on guix (and get paid).  There are a
   few guix developers who develop A LOT for guix.  I think the main
   source of income for several prominent guix developers is from
   cluster deployments as seen here: https://hpc.guix.info/about/ Also
   some developers get grants to work for guix as well.  This is a
   personal view, but I do believe that free software ought to somehow
   pay some developers.  That's how they can continue to develop the
   software.

5.  Guix's leadership lets the best idea win.  I personally think
   Ludo's last line on his email is genius: "Thoughts?".  It's a great
   idea to solicit feedback, and I believe that Ludo genuinely wants
   your thought and opinions.

6.  Guix has big goals!  What is org-mode?  Emacs?  Guix?  The
   GNU/Hurd?  All of these projects are sometimes hard to define.
   There are so many things that you can do with guix!  Declarable
   operating system.  Bootstrapped distro.  Portable distro.  Server
   manager.  Soon maybe a guix home manager. This maybe violates the
   unix philosophy of small programs that do things well, but perhaps
   because guix dreams big it can dare crazy things!

7.  Guix is NOT linux development!  Guix encourages newbie developers
   by sometimes fixing their really AWFUL code (or documentation).
   AND NOT being angry at those trivial errors.  For example, some of
   my documentation "fixes" were me pointing out an tiny issue with
   the manual.  Then I sent a diff that didn't work.  And someone else
   submitted a patch on my behalf that did my suggestion.  It's nice
   to know that you won't be needlessly insulted while contributing to
   guix.  A great example of this can be found in the irc log.  I
   recall one such instance of a newbie asking about a silly
   bug/feature.  In a moment of frustration I thought about saying
   something rude (I did not say it).  Ludo actually responded to the
   question with something like, "That's a great point.  Why don't you
   open a bug report here, so that we can properly discuss it?"  That
   was very kind/smart!

Thoughts?

Joshua

P.S.  If this email is not really suited here, please let me know.  I
know I've sent a few emails to guix devel that may not have been
suitable.  Please let me know if that is the case.  :)

--
Joshua Branson (joshuaBPMan in #guix)
Sent from Emacs and Gnus
  https://gnucode.me
  https://video.hardlimit.com/accounts/joshua_branson/video-channels
  https://propernaming.org
  "You can have whatever you want, as long as you help
enough other people get what they want." - Zig Ziglar


^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 4+ messages in thread

* Re: Meta Guix: why guix is awesome!
  2021-04-28 17:20 Meta Guix: why guix is awesome! Joshua Branson
@ 2021-04-28 23:52 ` Leo Prikler
  2021-04-29  5:44   ` Pjotr Prins
  0 siblings, 1 reply; 4+ messages in thread
From: Leo Prikler @ 2021-04-28 23:52 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Joshua Branson, guix-devel

Hi Joshua

Am Mittwoch, den 28.04.2021, 13:20 -0400 schrieb Joshua Branson:
> Hello guix developers!
> 
> Guix is brilliantly fantastic!  I thought I would write down some of
> the
> things that make guix such a great community and a powerful free
> software tool.  I intend this email to encourage guix developers and
> perhaps encourage other free software projects to copy guix's
> success.
> 
> 1. It encourages non-english speaking participation.  Guix's manual
> is
>    a work of art that has been translated into a few languages:
>    German, Spanish, French, Russian, and Chinese?  Honestly my font
> in
>    my browser can't read the last translation...but I think it's
>    Mandorin (spelling?)
IIRC, it's simplified (Han) Chinese.  Mandarin is afaik not a writing
system.

>   Anyway, guix has a strong push to NOT be an
>    American only project.  It also has some email lists for
>    non-english speakers.  That is awesome!  I had never thought about
>    non-English mailing lists, but there certainly are non-english
>    speakers that would love to get help.  Also the website is
>    available many languages.
Please note, that English is not only American.  I for one, encourage
the use of any gratuitous "u" in any word, that allows it.  Fear my
colourful language!

> 2. Guix's leadership is non-political.  I recall on the mailing list
>    an issue raised about freedom of speech concerns.  Many emotion
>    emails went back and forth over this issue with guix developers
>    expressing a variety of opinions.  I actually felt encouraged that
>    Ludo did NOT say anything in this email exchange.  That signaled
> to
>    me that Ludo doesn't care what your political views are.  Anyone
>    and everyone is free to contribute to guix regardless of what you
>    believe!
I strongly disagree in on this in two points:
2.a. free software is inherently political
2.b. being political is not a bad thing
I think there's a strong tendency to equate politics with "people being
mad at you on the Internet" or "companies wearing a rainbow flag during
pride month", especially among American conservatives.  Those are not
the same and never have been.

Of course, "free software" does not completely dictate what ideology
you are allowed to have, but for the sake of everyone involved
(especially in heated debates), know that there are limits on what is
(or at least should be) allowed in our mailing lists.  If you want to
know why freedom of speech must be limited in such a fashion, please
read up on the paradox of tolerance.

> 3. It has great marketing.  I think this really ought to be stressed
> a
>    lot!  Guix has numerous blog posts that demonstrate that the
>    project is alive.  And they are really well written.  And
> engaging!
>    I absolutely love guix's blog!  And the website is hip!  And it's
>    got great artwork!
I don't know enough about marketing to give you a good answer on that,
but when it comes to what we're competing against, it seems to be a
rather uphill battle outside of the small bubble, that we've carved
out.  According to distrowatch we're still far away from Nix and back
when I was using Gentoo I thought that was some super niche distro.

> 4.  Some people work full time on guix (and get paid).  There are a
>    few guix developers who develop A LOT for guix.  I think the main
>    source of income for several prominent guix developers is from
>    cluster deployments as seen here: https://hpc.guix.info/about/
> Also
>    some developers get grants to work for guix as well.  This is a
>    personal view, but I do believe that free software ought to
> somehow
>    pay some developers.  That's how they can continue to develop the
>    software.
I think you'll find full-time workers in any project of a certain size,
Guix being no exception to that.

> 5.  Guix's leadership lets the best idea win.  I personally think
>    Ludo's last line on his email is genius: "Thoughts?".  It's a
> great
>    idea to solicit feedback, and I believe that Ludo genuinely wants
>    your thought and opinions.
There are a few variations of this, but generally when we ask WDYT,
it's because we've raised some points to think about :)

> 6.  Guix has big goals!  What is org-mode?  Emacs?  Guix?  The
>    GNU/Hurd?  All of these projects are sometimes hard to define.
>    There are so many things that you can do with guix!  Declarable
>    operating system.  Bootstrapped distro.  Portable distro.  Server
>    manager.  Soon maybe a guix home manager. This maybe violates the
>    unix philosophy of small programs that do things well, but perhaps
>    because guix dreams big it can dare crazy things!
Guix may perhaps not be the smallest package manager (to be honest, I
have no way of telling as it's the only one I'm involved in), but I can
definitely say, that it does things well, so your point about violating
Unix philosophy is invalidated :P

Also, Guix does not yet write email for you, we still have to offload
that to git.

> 7.  Guix is NOT linux development!  Guix encourages newbie developers
>    by sometimes fixing their really AWFUL code (or documentation).
>    AND NOT being angry at those trivial errors.  For example, some of
>    my documentation "fixes" were me pointing out an tiny issue with
>    the manual.  Then I sent a diff that didn't work.  And someone
> else
>    submitted a patch on my behalf that did my suggestion.  It's nice
>    to know that you won't be needlessly insulted while contributing
> to
>    guix.  A great example of this can be found in the irc log.  I
>    recall one such instance of a newbie asking about a silly
>    bug/feature.  In a moment of frustration I thought about saying
>    something rude (I did not say it).  Ludo actually responded to the
>    question with something like, "That's a great point.  Why don't
> you
>    open a bug report here, so that we can properly discuss it?"  That
>    was very kind/smart!
Which ties back to point 2.  Guix aims to be inclusive and being
inclusive means toning down the rudeness.

Btw. since we're on the topic of politics, let me point something out:
>   https://propernaming.org
I'm well aware, that virtue signaling does not help anyone, but
1. "we donate to non-profits" is literally virtue signaling
2. the way they insist on certain terminology out of "tradition" (and
it is mostly tradition) reminds me strongly about "the T-slur means
something else in this context" (you'll know which slur and which
context if you've been involved in or followed such debates)
3. creating a controversy out of people trying to make computing a
little more inclusive by changing a few things in our vocabulary sounds
pretty reactionary as a whole

To the words themselves: 
- black/white: This one shouldn't even be up to debate.  I've already
seen papers and projects using red/green instead, which has less
unfortunate implications while still being colours (of course, the old
thing with red being a lucky colour in China applies here, but oh
well).  If allow/deny is not to your taste, what about good/evil,
nice/naughty or shall_pass/shall_not_pass?
- cracker/hacker: this doesn't seem to have been written in response to
an actual suggestion, so I assume it's just them trolling
- execution etc.: making unfunny jokes based on one's own improper
understanding of latin
- fuck me harder: I don't kinkshame.
- foo/bar: how conservative do you need to be to find bars offensive?
- gb: Literally just there to have more sex on the page
- git: Wie Ihnen dieses Projekt auf dem Deppendrehkreuz[1] zeigt,
wissen wir Deutsche sehr wohl, wie man Deppen beschuldigt.
- I'm starting to get hacked off by the number of sex references they
deem to be absolutely necessary.  Are those folks horny on main?
- KISS is silly salespeak
- master/slave: wow, we're back to an actual suggestion.  What's funny
about this one, is that some projects (*cough* Python *cough*) think
it's morally acceptable to s/master/manager/ and s/slave/worker/. 
Really tells you something about the world we live in.  I think
(effectively) enslaving parts of our system runs somewhat counter to
what we as free software advocates should strive for, but given their
post record so far it could also be that propernaming is really hard
into BDSM, in which I would contradict my earlier point about not
kinkshaming.
- Red Hat is also not worn by the clergy of the Catholic Church.
- RTFM: Yeah, don't use that, there are nicer ways of telling people to
read the appropriate sections of an info file.
- Why does "virgins and people who have not had sex in years" sound
like it could accurately describe the people behind propernaming?
- I don't think anyone has ever been offended by trees – it's usually
the other way round – but there are (some reasonable and some less
reasonable) arguments to support one's fear of spiders, both physical
and digital.

Regards,
Leo

[1] https://github.com/danielauener/git-auf-deutsch



^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 4+ messages in thread

* Re: Meta Guix: why guix is awesome!
  2021-04-28 23:52 ` Leo Prikler
@ 2021-04-29  5:44   ` Pjotr Prins
  2021-04-29  9:50     ` Leo Prikler
  0 siblings, 1 reply; 4+ messages in thread
From: Pjotr Prins @ 2021-04-29  5:44 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Leo Prikler; +Cc: guix-devel

Hi Leo (Prikler),

On Thu, Apr 29, 2021 at 01:52:12AM +0200, Leo Prikler wrote:
> I don't know enough about marketing to give you a good answer on that,
> but when it comes to what we're competing against, it seems to be a
> rather uphill battle outside of the small bubble, that we've carved
> out.  According to distrowatch we're still far away from Nix and back
> when I was using Gentoo I thought that was some super niche distro.

As Guix is now also a Debian package I think it is doing extremely
well. I know people who are silently introducing Guix :). As a full
distro it may be niche, but it is also very successful because it
keeps growing and growing. Nix has a 10 years head start (I was there)
and does better in industry, but it does not mean it wil be ahead in
another 10 years.

Look where Linux came from.

> Guix may perhaps not be the smallest package manager (to be honest, I
> have no way of telling as it's the only one I'm involved in), but I can
> definitely say, that it does things well, so your point about violating
> Unix philosophy is invalidated :P

Guix abides by the Unix philosophy in many ways. All the tools (or
their invocations) do the minimum. It is actually an interesting
mixture of composition and isolation. Guix has the advantage of
learning from other attempts. But think about the Guix choice of
shepherd over systemd: systemd is not a tool in the spirit of Unix (in
my opinion) because it tries to think for you and can be unpredictable
:). Guix' focus is on being predictable and hackable - i.e., very Unix
spirited.

> Also, Guix does not yet write email for you, we still have to offload
> that to git.

Ah, yes. I would like that feature.

> Which ties back to point 2.  Guix aims to be inclusive and being
> inclusive means toning down the rudeness.

That is true. Though rudeness can also serve a purpose (Linus comes to
mind though he is trying to tone down the last years) and some people
can't help it. We walk a fine line here when we tell people to be less
rude and lose some value if we can not be honest. There is a cultural
angle for sure. The Fins, Dutch, Russians and Germans can be honest in
their language, but that appears as rude in English. Common English
can be extremely rude in Japanese. I think, in an intercultural sense,
we ought to strive for not taking everything at face value, and try
reading beyond the surface. Some people are in the autistic spectrum,
do we shut them down and have them not participate? I don't think that
is particularly inclusive either. 

Even so, if someone crosses a line with intent to hurt we should have
policies that protect the attacked. That is civil.  But I'd argue
against judging people by popular opinion. Courts of law are there to
judge badness.  Likewise, projects have policies and a code of
conduct. We should abide by those (the alternative being that people
can decide not to participate with the project). It is very hard,
perhaps impossible, to defend yourself against (perceived) popular
opinion.

Character assassination on the internet is all to common now. What we
should aim for is trying to keep discussion technical in a technical
project, even is it is in reality also a social experiment - as all of
free software is and even humanity as a whole. The good news is that
almost all our discussions and choices can be technical.

> - I don't think anyone has ever been offended by trees – it's usually
> the other way round – but there are (some reasonable and some less
> reasonable) arguments to support one's fear of spiders, both physical
> and digital.

We had a cat that got stuck in a tree once. Since that time he looked
up and we could virtually see him think: trees are evil. He never went
up again.

Trees can be perceived as evil even if they are obviously benefitial.
Being inclusive actually implies celebrating our differences. 

Pj.


^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 4+ messages in thread

* Re: Meta Guix: why guix is awesome!
  2021-04-29  5:44   ` Pjotr Prins
@ 2021-04-29  9:50     ` Leo Prikler
  0 siblings, 0 replies; 4+ messages in thread
From: Leo Prikler @ 2021-04-29  9:50 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Pjotr Prins; +Cc: guix-devel

Hi Pjotr,

Am Donnerstag, den 29.04.2021, 07:44 +0200 schrieb Pjotr Prins:
> Hi Leo (Prikler),
> 
> On Thu, Apr 29, 2021 at 01:52:12AM +0200, Leo Prikler wrote:
> > I don't know enough about marketing to give you a good answer on
> > that,
> > but when it comes to what we're competing against, it seems to be a
> > rather uphill battle outside of the small bubble, that we've carved
> > out.  According to distrowatch we're still far away from Nix and
> > back
> > when I was using Gentoo I thought that was some super niche distro.
> 
> As Guix is now also a Debian package I think it is doing extremely
> well. I know people who are silently introducing Guix :). As a full
> distro it may be niche, but it is also very successful because it
> keeps growing and growing. Nix has a 10 years head start (I was
> there)
> and does better in industry, but it does not mean it wil be ahead in
> another 10 years.
> 
> Look where Linux came from.
Point taken, we do still get some complaints from people running Guix
on foreign distros and how we violate the expectations of those
distros.  But I do think sooner or later those would end up bumping
statistics based on search terms at least a little.

> > Guix may perhaps not be the smallest package manager (to be honest,
> > I have no way of telling as it's the only one I'm involved in), but
> > I can definitely say, that it does things well, so your point about
> > violating Unix philosophy is invalidated :P
> 
> Guix abides by the Unix philosophy in many ways. All the tools (or
> their invocations) do the minimum. It is actually an interesting
> mixture of composition and isolation. Guix has the advantage of
> learning from other attempts. But think about the Guix choice of
> shepherd over systemd: systemd is not a tool in the spirit of Unix
> (in my opinion) because it tries to think for you and can be
> unpredictable :). Guix' focus is on being predictable and hackable -
> i.e., very Unix spirited.
I respectfully disagree, building a profile (or even better a system)
is in no way "minimal", but it also doesn't need to be.  Package
management by Guix is appealing exactly because it *can* handle
everything, particularly configuration in the case of Guix System, in
the same way that service management through systemd is appealing to
some because it *can* unify a lot of common concerns into one monolith.
"Being predictable" is not a quality unique to Unix nor is it a quality
guaranteed by Unix.  Also we get a lot of unpredicted backtraces :)

> > Which ties back to point 2.  Guix aims to be inclusive and being
> > inclusive means toning down the rudeness.
> 
> That is true. Though rudeness can also serve a purpose (Linus comes
> to mind though he is trying to tone down the last years) and some
> people can't help it. We walk a fine line here when we tell people to
> be less rude and lose some value if we can not be honest. There is a
> cultural angle for sure. The Fins, Dutch, Russians and Germans can be
> honest in their language, but that appears as rude in English. Common
> English can be extremely rude in Japanese. I think, in an
> intercultural sense, we ought to strive for not taking everything at
> face value, and try reading beyond the surface. Some people are in
> the autistic spectrum, do we shut them down and have them not
> participate? I don't think that is particularly inclusive either. 
As a German native speaker learning Japanese, I am aware of some
cultural tendencies, e.g. the polite rejection of a proposal.  When it
comes to being rude, the onus is absolutely on the person being rude to
read the room.

> Even so, if someone crosses a line with intent to hurt we should have
> policies that protect the attacked. That is civil.  But I'd argue
> against judging people by popular opinion. Courts of law are there to
> judge badness.  Likewise, projects have policies and a code of
> conduct. We should abide by those (the alternative being that people
> can decide not to participate with the project). It is very hard,
> perhaps impossible, to defend yourself against (perceived) popular
> opinion.
> 
> Character assassination on the internet is all to common now. What we
> should aim for is trying to keep discussion technical in a technical
> project, even is it is in reality also a social experiment - as all
> of free software is and even humanity as a whole. The good news is
> that almost all our discussions and choices can be technical.
I think you might have misunderstood me her a bit, so let me rephrase
that: I wasn't trying to advocate for lengthy, mostly political
discussions in the mailing lists, but what I am trying to say, is that
whenever people do express opinions, when those opinions are harmful
(whether or not they are popular) we ought to stop them from spreading.

> > - I don't think anyone has ever been offended by trees – it's
> > usually the other way round – but there are (some reasonable and
> > some less reasonable) arguments to support one's fear of spiders,
> > both physical and digital.
> 
> We had a cat that got stuck in a tree once. Since that time he looked
> up and we could virtually see him think: trees are evil. He never
> went up again.
I don't know your cat, but it could very well be possible, that your
interpretation is exaggerated.  You can be afraid of someone or
something without assuming ill intent.  For instance, I am afraid, that
Raghav might inadvertently push a poorly reviewed piece of code
(especially in haste), but I also fear I myself might do harm, when in
a few days I'll be forced to merge wip-emacs with only the knowledge,
that no one has so far complained about my latest patch set.

> Being inclusive actually implies celebrating our differences. 
That is true in the general case, but I just wanted to point out
exceptions so as to make people aware of them.

Regards,
Leo



^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 4+ messages in thread

end of thread, other threads:[~2021-04-29  9:51 UTC | newest]

Thread overview: 4+ messages (download: mbox.gz / follow: Atom feed)
-- links below jump to the message on this page --
2021-04-28 17:20 Meta Guix: why guix is awesome! Joshua Branson
2021-04-28 23:52 ` Leo Prikler
2021-04-29  5:44   ` Pjotr Prins
2021-04-29  9:50     ` Leo Prikler

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