On January 30, 2021, "Ludovic Courtès" <ludo@gnu.org> wrote:
Actually, part of the code would be shared anyway, so we could always go
with ‘--export-manifest’ first and think about adding the extra files
later. (Though I’m still unsure about these extra files, TBH.)

I do like the extra files. It feels cozy to me, like you have your little profile directory and it has a manifest and a list of channels in it, that makes it feel more complete. Like having the family pictures on the wall.

The question of what happens if you don't update a profile for a long time and how Guix handles those files moves on is a good one. I think those files should have an indication in there of what version of Guix was used to produce them, such that you can time-machine back to ensure you're compatible.

I don't think there's much drawback to having both the auto-generated files and a command that generates them. That seems more discoverable - you might happen across the files when you poke into a profile, or you might notice the command while reading the docs or the help output.

Glad to see this capability land any which way, this is something that comes up often!

While we're considering putting a manifest in the profile, is this a good time to also bring up the idea of renaming the "manifest" file? It confuses more people all the time. I'd be inclined to rename it "profile-metadata" or "lockfile".