Do I have to update Guix frequently like Arch?
Guix is a rolling release distro. Another well known rolling release distro is Arch Linux.
In Arch, you are expected to frequently do system updates. Partial updates are not supported. In my experience, what happens when you try to partially update package
X, it turns out it now depends on package
Y v1.2.4 and you have v.1.2.3 so
X fails and you must update
Y as well. But
Y has dependencies also, and you may have
Z which was depending on
Y v1.2.3 which now must also be upgraded... This basically means that partial updates don't really work unless you're lucky and not too many dependencies have changed. After you accumulate a lot of packages on your Arch system, the system updates can take quite a long time, and there is risk that one of the many updates introduced a new bug.
More importantly, the main support channel of Arch, the Arch forums, has a prevalent culture of demanding people do system upgrades. If they ever catch wind that you have some package that is out of date, even if it's only a few days out of date and unrelated to your problem, they refuse to help unless you do a system update. Of course, the forum moves slowly, so by the time someone sees your thread there will almost certainly be something that's out of date.
Guix is attractive to me because it has a different philosophy for handling dependencies and versions. It sounds like dependencies are independent, so that if X and Z both depend on Y, upgrading X along with Y will allow Z to continue using the older version of Y while X uses the newer version. With this approach, I would expect that if I decide I want a newer version of a package, I can update that package only, and everything else will mostly continue to work as before, and frequent full system updates are not necessary. I don't have to worry about upgrading X to fix a bug, and getting an update to Z which causes a new bug.
Is my understanding correct?
- Is it viable to not do frequent full system updates on Guix, and only update select packages when I want to?
- Does the Guix community boycott help requests if you don't have the latest version of every package?