Yep, that’s another way of doing it, and quite feasible for me, actually.
My big script defines two prefixes now: deb11m and deb11a. m stands for minimal, and a for app. Now the 11a templates ultimately spring from the minimal template but they all start with so much stuff it didn’t seem right to me to continue to call it 11m. (Basically 11a is the bare minimum I’d want to deal with as a user.) Also, they alphabetize cleanly into two groups: templates for system level VMs, and templates for “user level” VMs–handy in menus and the manager (which I do use a lot since it shows me multiple VMs at once and it’s easy to do a side-by-side comparison (even if it’s actually over-and-under).
I could always just change these two to something different (then next time change them back) and I’d be close to what you’re saying at least in concept.
I thought I had read this entire thread, but I must have got overloaded because I didn’t remember the prior description you referenced. Sorry about that!
I agree about salt. It looks like it could be wonderful, but I simply can’t understand the documentation because it talks about entities (columns, etc.) without relating them to what it is I am actually trying to configure (and if it’s not something made for Qubes that is quite understandable, but doesn’t make it easier). What corresponds to a VM Template I am trying to create? I dunno.
Lots of food for thought here; thanks!