Eelco's response: On community in Nix

To make it easier discoverable, I want to share the response from Eelco on the Determinate Systems blog to the recent events in our community. (I am highly irritated by the fact that this message was published on DetSys and that the Board/Foundation wasn’t informed beforehand, as Ron pointed out in another thread.)


I don’t understand what’s irritating on this. What I see is that he published his own personal opinion. I am very happy to know it directly from him. I don’t need to agree.

Board will publish their statement on this soon.


Eelco’s leadership has been criticized (;
And his involvment with DetSys, (very likely) involved with Anduril, which sponsorship and employees led to dumpster fires, questions his ability to be a fair representant of the community (chair of the board, Nix team lead - which contrasts with his claim “I am just one member of the five-member Nix team and hold no more formal authority than the others in determining the direction of the team” in OP’s link).

I don’t understand what’s irritating on this.

Probably the fact that a letter to the community comunicated outside of the community forum, on the DetSys platform, calling to join DetSys owned communication channels feel at best clumsy, and at worst a betrayal.

Some will say that they were given the benefit of the doubt for a while, and it feels like the nail in the coffin.


The open letter to Eelco was not on the community forum. Is that a problem?


It was likely made by someone who was not part of neither the Nix team, nor the foundation board.

There is a least one difference between the two documents: one challenges leadership (the open letter), the other is a communication that should be meant^1 to help the community heal from the crisis it goes through (Eelco’s post).

But I feel like you are not asking this question in good faith: after all, it really sounds like a whataboutism.

[1] “Should” as per the definition of leadership. And we can really question this with the form, as well as the platform, the message has taken.


I meant it this way: neither side used a community channel (e.g. this discourse), but you choose to only criticize one of them for it.

EDIT: I’m sorry, I just repeated the same thing in this post. To me it just feels like picking on things that have little relevance, but everyone can have their own opinion about that.


I’ve been on a few boards of nonprofits. If a member of any of them released a significant public statement mentioning the board without discussing it with the whole board first I would think it was either

(a) an indication that the poster didn’t understand normal board etiquette, or

(b) extremely aggressive and indicative of wanting to stoke conflict.

I’m NOT saying that it was the wrong thing to do - I really have no idea what’s going on on the board. I’m just saying that it’s not something the rest of the board is likely to shrug off (although they may choose not to discuss board processes in public).


but you choose to only criticize one of them for it.

I chose to stay on topic with the original post.

The communication intent is often to distract from the content of a topic (red herring). The goal may also be to question the justification for criticism and the legitimacy, integrity, and fairness of the critic, which can take on the character of discrediting the criticism, which may or may not be justified.

I haven’t read any critics to the actual points I made. Please, be mindful, you really are whatabouting.


@Pamplemousse expressed very well why I am irritated. The debate and discussion took place mainly on the forum. For me, it doesn’t fit that he published his response to the community outside of the community, in the blog of a company that he himself co-founded and whose alleged conflict of interests is part of the discussion, with a reminder at the bottom that he also “serves as president of the NixOS Foundation”, although they clearly weren’t informed or involved in this beforehand. Just to eloquently dismiss all accusations as completely unfounded and to suggest at the end “to join the Determinate Systems community” instead.


I very much suggest to concentrate on real problems. We have enough of them.

I think, knowing Eelco’s personal view is very valuable for all of us. As I said before, doesn’t matter if you agree with him or not, it is still good to know. Place where this information was published is one of the smallest problems we have right now.

Big thanks for everybody trying to be constructive.


All this situation makes me feel so bad. I’m new to the community, but I’ve been using nixpkgs and NixOS for quite some time. I like this project very much, I don’t want to see it crumbling down because of politics. Hope the community overcome this situation.


Apologies in advance, but the response looks like a personal blog post, not a thing issued by an employee from a company. Indeed, the only things that distinguish it are the URL and the Discord link.


The non-Eelco members of the board just issued a statement that Eelco’s blog post does not represent the foundations views: