Hello fellow Nixpkgs contributors and users,
Today, I am thrilled to introduce a new fundraising initiative that has been in the works for some months now: the “Nixpkgs Contributors” Open Collective: Nixpkgs Contributors - Open Collective
As many of you are aware, the Nixpkgs community has seen remarkable growth over the past few years.
This growth is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our contributors, who have continuously improved and expanded the Nixpkgs repository, making it an essential resource for NixOS and beyond. Of course, part of it is thanks to the increased presence of commercial entities considering seriously Nixpkgs as a space to build companies and products, part of it is thanks to the relentless passion of everyone around us in the community.
However, with growth comes new challenges, and it’s time for us to come together and address them strategically.
The Nixpkgs Contributors Open Collective is designed to provide funding opportunities to our active and talented contributors, enabling us to face the strategic challenges that have arisen due to the increased demands from NixOS as a Linux distribution. Our goal is to ensure that our contributors can focus on their important work without the burden of financial constraints, enabling us to maintain and enhance the quality and reliability of Nixpkgs.
Sustained Growth: Nixpkgs is at the heart of NixOS, and as NixOS gains popularity, the demand for high-quality packages and maintenance is increasing. We need to ensure that we have the resources to keep up with this growth.
Professionalism: The increasing professionalism of NixOS means that we need to meet higher standards for reliability, security, and documentation. This initiative will enable us to invest in tools and resources to help us meet these standards.
Recognition and Inclusivity: Recognizing the valuable contributions of our community members is crucial. By providing funding opportunities, we can ensure that the most talented contributors, regardless of their background or circumstances, can continue to participate and make a difference in Nixpkgs.
The force behind this new and exciting initiative is none other than myself, @raitobezarius. After numerous discussions with various members of our vibrant community (some of whom may prefer to remain anonymous), I’ve taken it upon myself to spearhead this effort.
For those who might not be familiar with me, I’ve been an active member of the Nix community for quite some time now. My journey includes serving as a release manager for versions 23.05 and 23.11, as well as active contributions to projects such in the Matrix platform, Tvix (TVL IRC), and several others. Some may say I wear multiple hats, and I fully embrace that assessment.
The truth is, I’ve fallen head over heels for the Nix community and have a rather persistent desire to do more for it. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of meeting many of you at Nix community events, engaging in insightful discussions, and learning about the challenges you face.
One of the key insights I’ve gained is that our community boasts an abundance of incredible talents. However, many of these talented individuals face significant barriers to contributing due to financial constraints, demanding day jobs, and various other obligations.
A respected Nixpkgs contributor, whom I hold in high regard and who has been a source of inspiration for me, once remarked:
Employment continues to be the major barrier to scaling free software.
I firmly believe that the value derived by numerous stakeholders from the public goods that are a part of Nixpkgs is immeasurable. Consequently, I believe that it’s high time we started exploring avenues to provide stable financial support to our exceptionally talented community members.
While my ultimate dream is to witness community members becoming self-employed and fully empowered to dedicate themselves to Nixpkgs, I understand that this vision might be a bit ahead of its time. Nevertheless, I am eager to initiate a process that can, even in its early stages, improve the overall atmosphere for contributions. This, in turn, will lead to a better Nixpkgs for all, including our valued end-users!
Contribute: If you are an active contributor to Nixpkgs, consider applying for funding through the Open Collective. Your work is invaluable, and this initiative is here to support you.
Donate: If you’re not directly involved in Nixpkgs but want to support our cause, consider making a donation. Every contribution counts, and your support will help us achieve our goals. Strategic goals have in mind how to unlock frictionless contributions for committers and more, so your contribution will definitely end up helping your own needs.
Spread the Word: Share this initiative within the Nixpkgs and NixOS communities and beyond. The more awareness we generate, the stronger our collective effort becomes.
You can learn more about the Nixpkgs Contributors Open Collective at this page: Nixpkgs Contributors - Open Collective, including how to apply for funding by contacting me. Please help me to ensure that Nixpkgs can still continue to thrive in a sustainable fashion!
If you would like to be administrator or have any role (accounting roles / verification roles) in this Open Collective, please reach out, I am obviously open this.
Moving on, let me present you the first “target” and project I am excited to announce.
Allow me to shed light on the first project that we will embark upon as part of the “Nixpkgs Contributors” Open Collective initiative. This project holds immense potential to enhance the efficiency and reliability of Nixpkgs, and it centers around the critical area of OfBorg development and testing.
OfBorg, for those unfamiliar, is the unsung hero of our Nixpkgs ecosystem. It plays a vital role in automating various tasks, including testing pull requests, evaluating build results, and ensuring the overall quality of our repository.
Unfortunately, you can see that pull requests in the OfBorg project are hard to land, as it is hard to even test OfBorg locally and build a software engineering story around this crucial tooling.
Moving on, I will introduce a talented community member for whom I have hope to give her the opportunity to change the situation in collaboration with the rest of the community.
I am delighted to introduce you to Lily Foster (@lilyinstarlight), who has shown exceptional dedication to the Nix community through her OfBorg contributions and her work in taking up the amazing work initiated by @winter in the Node.js nixpkgs ecosystem. I could go for a long list of her achievements, but I think you already used her work in multiple occasions, without knowing it!
Lily brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to the table. With a deep understanding of our community’s needs and a strong desire to contribute, I believe she is ready to take on the challenge of unblocking OfBorg development and testing.
By working closely with our esteemed OfBorg maintainer, @cole-h, Lily aims to ensure that OfBorg continues to serve as a dependable backbone for Nixpkgs. Her efforts will directly impact the efficiency of our pull request testing, the reliability of our builds, and the overall user experience for Nixpkgs contributors and end-users alike.
As Lily begins her journey within this project, I look forward to witnessing the positive changes she can bring to our community. By supporting her and this project, we collectively invest in the future of Nixpkgs, strengthening its core infrastructure and ensuring the continued growth and success of our community.
Stay tuned for updates on Lily’s progress and more exciting projects on the horizon, maybe in the Node.js landscape!
Thank you all for your dedication and hard work. Together, we can face the strategic challenges ahead and continue to build an exceptional Nixpkgs repository, that is respectful of committers, contributors, end-users and everyone!