Into the Nix ecosystem with Domen Kozar (The Changelog #437)

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Thanks @domenkozar to giving more awareness to Nix.

We really need a good onboarding story for nix, would be nice to have a “how to ease into nix”, instead of “nix pills, how to re-implement stdenv.mkDerivation”.

EDIT: Not to hate on nix-pills too much, it’s a great resource. I just don’t think it should be someone’s first resource on Nix.

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I hope you’d be pleased to see init: devshell for hands-on onboarding by blaggacao · Pull Request #119966 · NixOS/nixpkgs · GitHub and similars.

I wouldn’t mind doing a few “new user sessions” with people to simply watch and take notes on their experience onboarding or trying to introduce themselves to the system. (note: this is different than helping/guiding people with adoption, which is more of an office hours thing)

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That might be really hard to achieve. I’m just thinking for you to do that with me would be organizationally impossible, for example.

What do you think of crafting a small onbording questionnaire instead which they are asked to submit after a week or two (or any smart criterion)?

Via PRs you could spread that questionnaire around in the manual / available resources and we could start collecting some data driven insights.

That’s a great idea and I’ve been doing that myself too, writing down what are the problems. Feel free to open issues at GitHub - nix-dot-dev/nix.dev: An opinionated guide for developers wanting to get things done with Nix.

By far the most common source for binary caches is that negative caching results in many lost hours for almost all users sooner than later. It’s not clear that this is a feature, but rather a bug with binary caching to the users. So we’ve settled on the design at nix-cache-info setting for negative narinfo cache · Issue #4478 · NixOS/nix · GitHub (which I’m not a huge fan, because it makes things even more complicated, but allows for the existing functionality to still be there for those that want it).

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