21.11 Retrospective


To have a discussion around the stable release, and how to improve the process. This will be very similar in intent to the last retrospective.


We will hold a 1 hour meeting to facilitate questions and have a discussion around what didn’t work well and how to improve. The issues will likely be time-box’d (5mins initial discussion, with 2 minute extensions) to keep pace of discussion going and not end up just talking about one topic the entire time. (This is a rule-of-thumb, but the exact protocol is subject to change, I just found timebox’ing to be much more effective in real-life).

Topics should be categorized into 3 sections:

  • What went well?
  • What do you feel neutral about?
  • What did you feel negative about?

I will aggregate topics from this thread, (if i can find a decent tool) participants will be able to vote for 3-5 (depending on number of topics) topics that they would most like to discuss, and proceed with time-boxed discussion. If we don’t discuss a particular topic you were interested in, this doesn’t mean it wasn’t important, we just didn’t around to it in this meeting. If we find these meetings to be super-productive, then we may hold additional meetings.

The desired outcome is to have some “action items” which can improve the next NixOS release.

When / Where ?

Jitsi. Jitsi Meet

When, 2021-12-04T19:00:00Z


Anyone who attempted to contribute, contributed, uses, or has valuable feedback on the 21.11 release.

Policy for this Discourse thread

Please feel free to add anything to the following topics in a post:

  • What went well?
  • What do you feel neutral about?
  • What did you feel negative about?

You can also start a discussion to other peoples posts, however, if a particular topic warrants it’s own thread, then it should probably be moved into it’s own thread. I would like to mainly keep this thread focused on discussion topics for the retrospective meeting.



A similar point was raised here as part of the previous retrospective, but as a newcomer willing to contribute a few hours to ZHF I was turned away after fixing a single package due to UX shortcomings:

  • It’s hard to find something I’m able to fix, having filtered the jobset by architecture:

    • Some failures are intermittent (ie. due to timeouts), with no way to easily discern these from jobs which have been failing for months. Ideally one should be able to request a rebuild or at least be able to mark them them as an transient failure.
    • There’s no way to find jobs with failures I’m more familiar with or feel like looking into (e.g. C build failures).
    • Some failures appear related but clutter the search results (ie. a huge list of kernel modules).
  • Hydra being fairly slow doesn’t help either.

I wonder whether it would be useful to be able to somehow tag build failures (at least during ZHF) - most likely would require a triage step, but being able to search for labels might help.


Selecting 2021-12-04T19:00:00Z As meeting time.

I will update this thread with meeting room before meeting.


Meeting link: Jitsi Meet

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Action Items:


I’d appreciate a short status update on the action items, especially those that can be linked to. I did a quick search and could not find the announced Discourse threads, for example.

Also note that this post appears to not be categorized, which makes it really hard to find.



cc @nrdxp @tomberek


Release editor / release note discussion: Thoughts about Improving NixOS Release Notes

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