2022-06 Status Update

on 2022-07-01 in status-update

| alpine | guix | hledger |




hledger updated to v1.26 with improvements and bug fixes. I updated dependent alpine packages for the same. I submitted a package for hledger-timeclock.


Since I contribute to guix and alpine both, I wanted a convenient way to create guix packages on alpine. So I tried packaging guix for alpine linux. Alpine doesn’t have many guile packages and there’s no support from abuild tools for it. I packaged all guile dependencies of guix, i.e. guile-gcrypt, guile-gnutls, guile-sqlite3, guile-zlib, guile-lzlib, guile-avahi, scheme-bytestructures, guile-git, and guile-json.

guix-daemon required argp from glibc. musl doesn’t have it. I used argp-standalone as a substitute. This allowed me to build guix-daemon successfully. The documentation could be built easily with (undocumented) po4a build dependency.

Final missing piece was building guix, i.e. compiling guile scheme code to guile objects. Unfortunately, this was where I hit the wall. musl libc lacks the encoding support that guix needs. I was told by people in guix irc room that trying to port it to musl will be a huge undertaking. Guile can be bootstrapped from a few KB of binaries (without localization support), I believed it would be easy to do the same with alpine. But I lost motivation to continue this work due to some <unspecified> reason. I did open-source everything under the same license as aports, if anyone else is interested in picking it up. Packaging everything took me about a week and I enjoyed working on it.



Recently, my wife started her own business. We were looking for ways to manage her finances and time for projects with hourly rate. We decided to use hledger to track them. hledger has good support for tracking time, and calculating amount using auto posting rules. We wanted to generate invoices and tax returns from hledger. I wanted to write that in go. Since I couldn’t find a library that helps with it, I wrote one.

go-hledger-types is a minimal library that defines go native types to decode (and encode) ledger data exported from hledger.


hledger as good time tracking support. But it doesn’t have commands to clock-in and clock-out. There are shell aliases suggested by the hledger project. But I wanted something that supports shell completion.

I developed hledger-timeclock. It is an hledger addon that allows one to track time as they would with existing time tracking software. You clock in before you start work, you clock out when you’re done. It comes with shell completion to make clocking in and out easier for users.


Note: This section (and project) is only related to Goods and Services Tax of India.

For small businesses offering services only to a few clients, filing GST is quite easy and simple. You add your sales every month using their portal, and the rest is generated automatically. Although, as the number of transactions go up, you need to enter more data; meticulously. They (Goods and Services Tax Network) offer offline utilities that help with this, but they only support Windows.

We both have been using GNU/Linux for years, and installing or using Windows just to file taxes didn’t quite sit well. My wife is using hledger to maintain her business ledger. Developing something that helps her generate monthly GST return from hledger came naturally to me.

hledger-gst generates GSTR-1 for a specific month, given the template and a ledger. The work has just started, and I intend to complete it by the end of next month.


I used to play Minecraft with friends before. There was a custom launcher for Minecraft Bedrock in flathub. Due to some (still) unknown reason it doesn’t launch the game on Alpine anymore. I tried packaging it for alpine linux as a separate alpine repo. Unfortunately (for me), it uses bionic APIs and requires <some> functions from glibc; which are absent in musl. I am not motivated enough to port it to musl. Minecraft was great while it lasted.


Last month I shared that I was working on go-midi. During my unending fight with the go compiler to make minimal heap allocation, I thought to port it to rust. To try it out, I wrote a macro that derived methods of MIDI messages. I’ll explore various designs before finalizing one next month. Rust seems a good candidate for my needs. Will see how it goes.


I did not post about go-midi because I was working on porting it to rust. I’ll probably archive go-midi if rust becomes the way to go (no pun intended).

This month, I was in my home state. I visited my college after a long time. It was pleasant catching up with people there.

I showed my parents The Social Dilemma on Netflix. They said the movie opened their eyes. I then showed them the Digital Wellbeing section of the Settings app of their Android phone. Explained what it is and how they can be in charge of their time. To me, this seems to be a healthy way to show people the good, the bad, and the ugly of social media.

Until next post. Peace.

I welcome your feedback or constructive criticism to ~dhruvin/public-inbox@lists.sr.ht. You can also visit the public archive.


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