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Code Staging in GNU Guix

Abstract : GNU Guix is a “functional” package manager that builds upon earlier work on Nix. Guix implements high-level abstractions such as packages and operating system services as domain-specic languages (DSLs) embedded in Scheme. It also implements build actions and operating system orchestration in Scheme. This leads to a multi-tier programming environment where embedded code snippets are staged for eventual execution. This paper presents G-expressions or “gexps”, the staging mechanism we devised for Guix. We explain our journey from traditional Lisp S-expressions to G-expressions, which augment the former with contextual information and ensure hygienic code staging. We discuss the implementation of gexps and report on our experience using them in a variety of operating system use cases—from package build processes to system services. Gexps provide a novel way to cover many aspects of OS configuration in a single, multi-tier language, while facilitating code reuse and code sharing.
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Contributor : Ludovic Courtès Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, September 1, 2017 - 5:17:03 PM
Last modification on : Friday, February 4, 2022 - 3:15:47 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, December 2, 2017 - 2:32:06 PM


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Ludovic Courtès. Code Staging in GNU Guix. 16th ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Generative Programming: Concepts and Experiences (GPCE’17), Oct 2017, Vancouver, Canada. ⟨10.1145/3136040.3136045⟩. ⟨hal-01580582⟩



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