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Re: Guix Documentation Meetup

From: Ryan Prior
Subject: Re: Guix Documentation Meetup
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2021 23:18:12 +0000

‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐

On Friday, December 10th, 2021 at 10:40 PM, Blake Shaw 
<> wrote:

> tldr: is there also room to discuss contributing -- and possibly doing a 
> sizeable makeover to -- the Guile documentation?

Absolutely. The Guile docs are unusable and make Guile a pain to work with. I 
say this as an experienced lisp & scheme user with decades of experience now in 
elisp, racket, and clojure. After bouncing off of guile projects for years, 
last November I decided to do Advent of Code in Guile to force myself to 
finally get the hang of it & get productive. I gave up after a week, every task 
was unpleasant and I was reinventing basic language features because I couldn't 
find out where/if they were implemented in some obscure SRFI or ice-9 module. 
Like you wrote, the code I'd finally end up was fine, the language itself seems 
nice, but it's just plain inaccessible.

I've found the Guile IRC channel to be polite and encouraging, but also very 
self-satisfied, which makes it hard to feel heard as a Guile hacker who's 
struggling. I hesitate to tackle any kind of nontrivial problem with Guile 
because I have no confidence I will find tools that save me time; I'm 
proficient with a half dozen other languages, including multiple lisps, which 
provide much better support. So even though I really want to learn 
Guile,because of Guix, Shepherd and other cool software written in it, I'm no 
more likely to choose Guile for a software project today than I was 3 years ago 
when I just started learning it.

When I talk to experienced hackers in the Guile community I get the sense 
they've just accepted that yeah, the only way to get anywhere is to cold 
memorize the most popular ~80 SRFIs or implement everything you need yourself. 
One person I talked to was like "oh yeah Guile's great, you just have to 
implement your own standard library like I did."

I'd love to hear your talk, if you're up to present at the Guix meetup I'll 
definitely come and listen. I'm also happy to do what I can to help drive Guile 
adoption, create a great learning experience around it, and finally start to 
build the language community that Guile is lacking.


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