Ask Us Anything - The Nix Foundation Board

Call for Questions, Ask Us Anything - The Nix Foundation Board

The Nix Foundation board will be hosted in a panel during the NixCon 2022 Paris this week. We want to take the entire time to answer the top community questions and talk about the topics you care about.
We will go through as many questions as we can from this post sorted by vote count.

Please share below the questions or topics you care about and vote on the ones that are already present!

The voting will close at 1AM Paris Time on the first day of NixCon (Thursday, October 20)
Moderated and Hosted by @zimbatm!

@edolstra / @domenkozar / @regnat / @armijn / @ron

10 Likes

The Nix ecosystem and NixOS in particular rely a lot on volunteers and on some companies investing in the platform for themselves. This leads to some necessary but toilsome work being neglected, like the security roundups, when volunteer goodwill falls behind the relentless work. Is this something the foundation is looking at improving, and how?

17 Likes

With flakes on the horizon, is it a goal to depend less on nixpkgs?
Add more packages as an input of your flake vs all from stable/unstable.

2 Likes

You said that enabling teams to get the actual project work done is one of your top priorities.

How specifically will you ensure that teams are supplied with the resources (e.g. timely board decisions, advice, funding) they need to work effectively?

9 Likes

As a board, what are your current priorities and how much time do you collectively spend on working on them?

7 Likes

What is the status of the NixOps 2 project? When will the documentation be improved?

2 Likes

Is there any initiative to make Nix friendlier to new comers and increase Nix adoption?

2 Likes

Some very important RFCs have been in discussion hell for months if not years. (flakes, CA-store, formatting, new CLI, to name few). What is the plan on making this whole process actually move forward?

On that note, one of the biggest criticisms of original flakes RFC was that it got an implementation first and then a discussion, at which point the discussion was a moot point because the direction was already decided upon. From what I see this situation is still not changed and as awesome as flakes are the preemptive overriding of community discussion is not something I’m a fan of. What actions does the board plan on taking to ensure it does not happen again?

Mind you, I do like and use flakes such as they are. If BDFL decides his will is the law, I’m not sure I object, he’s done great job so far. What I would like to see happen is some codification and formal statement that this is the way. Having RFC procedure only for it to be largely ignored sends very mixed signals and is actively harmful for future and ongoing RFCs.

12 Likes

Do you have plans to better coordinate the development of Nix and NixOS? Currently, it’s quite chaotic with developments in many directions. Maybe create a roadmap with the community for areas we want to focus on for a year. That can also help new contributors to see what’s the current focus and help there.

11 Likes

With things like Riff, flox, and many other “frontends” to nix/nixpkgs. Do you think that nix will end up being more “low level” and different domains will have their own tooling on top? Or should nix be at the forefront and increase usability so those tools are not needed?

3 Likes

How many resources are available to the board? Since all of you work for your own companies, how much time can you spend every week to make progress on the NixOS Foundation?

2 Likes

Just want to say I am personally satisfied with the discussion around this question. If it ever came across as accusatory, I offer sincere apologies, and thank you to the whole board for being graceful and properly informative.

NixOS and related projects, have a very big scope, and not that large community, and even though the community is very active and does a lot to improve nix ecosystem, it still struggles to do so in the most skill and time demanding corners.
Theoretically the best way to approach that would be to hire someone who would work on such forgotten by everyone else but very much needed issues full time.

Is there a plan to do that?

2 Likes

It definitely did not come off as accusatory at all, if anything it was a great question. We do hope that these are the kind of open discussions and conversations we can have since it is the way to make progress on these items together.

Really great to hear what the future plans were on NixCon. It did made it extra clear for me that the Nix cli and flakes still need some work before they can be stabilized. It seemed most agree that these efforts are of high importance for adoption.

It seemed there were a lot of efforts (people and companies) surrounding Nix, but seemingly not on the same level on Nix itself. I don’t want to say other efforts are not important, but just a bit worried how long stabilization will take. Are there plans to speed the process up for Nix itself? Extra funding for extra developers on Nix itself?

3 Likes

I have a question for the board - yes I know I’m past the deadline, but I think this is still the best place to ask.

My question is: how was flox (a very new company as far as I can tell) chosen to be represented in the Nix Foundation Board? It feels to me like this process was not transparent, and it can’t be based on pre-existing trust within the community, since the company is very young and - correct me if I’m wrong - @ron hasn’t been a publicly active member for very long either.

Hope this doesn’t come off as accusatory or personal, but I do think it’s an important aspect to bring up.

Let me know if there’s a better place to discuss this :slight_smile:

2 Likes

They have the biggest investment by far in our ecosystem and by betting on Nix to be widely adopted in the industry, we think that they deserve a spot in helping out.

So far @ron has done a lot of work as part of the foundation, bringing the mindset of getting things done and that has been invaluable.

An important insight is that the work we do in the foundation doesn’t reflect so much about the past as it does about the future - and that involves a lot of strategical thinking and operational work - skillset that’s similar in a CEO role.

(note that this is my personal opinion and doesn’t necessarily represent the opinion of the board)

6 Likes

@tomberek works there and he is a very well respected member of the community who has volunteered an amazing number of hours to many causes within the community.

Is @tomberek the CEO of Flox? No, but it is an extremely small company so you have to assume his voice carries a fair bit of weight there.

I understand you comments and there were definitely some jokes flying around at NixCon but I think there are enough trusted community members in the right places that I’m not too concerned about it.

I think given the above in combination with the answer @domenkozar provided is enough to say I’m satisfied. Thanks for asking.

4 Likes
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