General Nix Office Hours

After doing Office Hours for a while, I’ve come to believe it is an effective way to help newcomers get past hurdles of Nix adoption. In contrast with chat or forums, synchronous 1-on-1 discussion quickly resolves XY problems. I’d like to establish a more coordinated mechanism for the community to welcome new users and provide assistance to beginners. This is meant as an alternate way for people to get help in contrast to chat/forums or other asynchronous methods.

I’m hoping to establish a community office hours program: a regular time slot (or slots) where a few mentors will be available in a video/voice call to break out into 1-on-1 sub-discussions to provide assistance with Nix-related problems, whatever they may be. I ran this idea by the mentors Summer of Nix mentors, and they seemed to like it. Of course the real trick with something like this is committing to it regularly.

Myself and any other mentors willing to do so will meet on Fridays 1600-2000 GMT at Jitsi Meet where people could meet and do initial introductions and present any issues they have. As needed, a mentor could break off into some other Jitsi room to directly help out with the issues. A side-effect of all of this is that we get a better idea of the difficulties beginners run into and allow us to improve the initial experience. While there is the potential for abuse and trolling, I’ve found that the 1-on-1 aspect creates a “price of participation” that reduces that problem; though if it becomes an issue we should address it.

Please comment below or DM me somewhere if you’re interested as a mentor or if other times would be better.

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I’d be willing to mentor, but the current proposed hours are right in the middle of my work day. Of course, it will probably be very difficult to find an ideal timeslot for everyone involved. Maybe we could break the event into multiple different sessions throughout the day or at least start a when2meet to get a better idea of mentors’ availability?

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Absolutely we can do multiple sessions if that is when people have availability. The above time is only a starting point and a consequence of Flox supporting this work and @limeytexan’s and my own availability. If more sessions are supportable from a mentor perspective, that would be wonderful.

Here’s a when2meet: Nix Office Hours - When2meet

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I’ve been helping out beginners as part of Cachix onboarding so I’m happy to help out with Office Hours as well!

I’m in CEST, so the proposed timeslot means 18h-22h for me.

Maybe we could rotate such that every other week it’s the ideal US or ideal EU timeslot?

I’ve added my slots to when2meet.

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Added my availabilities.

Note that the European Commission expressed interest in a nix introduction. Ideally we could do some personalized onboarding for different members if you are interested.

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Hey mate, Is there an alternative time-slot available since those times would be midnight for me in the Australian Eastern Time Zone :sweat_smile:

The “when2meet” link above shows there could be a another time-slot with Domen and/or Raphael at a more convenient time for the other hemisphere. I can’t speak for them or volunteer their time.

(@domenkozar @happysalada: it seems 0630 UTC matches your schedule, feel free to announce or let us know if that will be a thing.)

I put down my availability. I am not available for two weeks coming up in the next month due to a company conference as well as a vacation the week after. But going forward I should be available about the same time most every Friday.

What date did you have in mind, 24th September?

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Starting Office Hours in a few minutes: Jitsi Meet

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Last week’s Office Hours has a dozen or so participants (both people asking and answering questions). There was plenty of knowledge sharing, but everything was still very much rapid fire. My goal to have breakout sessions didn’t quite happen - perhaps it isn’t needed at this scale, or I need to do a better job managing it. Topics covered:

  • nixos-rebuild hanging
    • pkill -9 works
  • sha256 not picked up when trying to use hercules-ci as flake
  • /build/ was in an RPATH
    • need to look at build expression for a dontFixup or fixupPhase
  • coming from Arch. Problem with NixOS RPi booting
    • Flattened device image is bigger than overlaps
    • DTB file problem with RaspberryPi4
    • this was later fixed by samueldr and ryantm
  • how to change the storepath that Hydra uses
    • NIX_CONFIG=“store = $(pwd)/store” nix build nixpkgs#hello
    • adding something like that to Hydra’s env can work
  • GC is not cleaning enough things out of /nix/store
    • solution was to examine the various gcroots and what might be preventing a cleanup
  • using bare-repo with flakes, not recommended
    • flake.nix in $HOME has hard to understand error about permissions instead of “hey, you probably don’t want to bring in your entire home directory”
  • what changed between home-manager generations. (nix store diff-closures)

I’m planning for another round this Friday (1600 UTC / 1200 EST).

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Nix Office Hours are in session: Jitsi Meet

Summary of last session:

  • how to set glibcLocales and using clang, and using c.UTF-8
  • how to use clang instead of gcc for development
  • parallel-eval-jobs: github.com/nix-community/nix-eval-jobs
  • Nix ecosystem CI is hard to setup, but wonderful once it is going
  • various chatter about NixOS deployment tooling
  • pythonPackages39.einops tests are broken
  • mosquitto, Foo-Over-UDP, Helm PR reviews
  • libcdata/libcthreads/libcerror packaging

Friday October 8th?
12 Noon EST or 9am PST …yes?

Is this about the NLNet program, or something else?

Nix Office Hours are in session: Jitsi Meet

(i’m a little late this week, sorry)

In the summer of Nix, Gijs representing Digit (part of the European Commission) mentioned that several others inside the European Commission expressed interest in Nix. I told him that should they ever need a more personal hands on demo, several people in the community would step up and do 1 on 1 with the interested parties (Perhaps I over-commited there).

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Nix Office Hours are in session: Jitsi Meet

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Nix Office Hours are in session: Jitsi Meet

Nix Office Hours are in session: Jitsi Meet (i’ll be in and out due to meetings)

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