Major Nixpkgs contributor leaving

Major Nixpkgs contributor is leaving us:

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So sad of this :frowning: Almost 18000 commits… what a loss for the Nix project…

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I’m sorry to hear this. Mario was one of the people who signed the open letter opposing MIC sponsorship.

To those who may be alarmed, I’d like to ease your concerns. I’m hopeful that the other signatories will not quit, as I believe we can find a satisfactory resolution.

For more context, please see this thread.

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The real impact of such departures extends beyond immediate contributions; it influences the morale and future engagement of other community members in the project. We don’t yet know how many more might consider leaving yet. This uncertainty can erode the foundation of our community.

The perception that the community’s voice is being ignored can lead to significant repercussions, not just for the project but for the entire ecosystem that depends on it, including companies where their business model is based on Nix technologies!

The foundation’s role is to ensure that the community which drives this development feels valued and respected. Open-source projects thrive on collaboration and mutual respect; without these, even the most technically robust projects risk losing their momentum. The ongoing situation should be a wake-up call for the NixOS project to reconsider how it engages with its community. Every individual contributor is a vital resource, and we cannot afford to overlook the impact of their grievances. For NixOS to continue thriving, it’s imperative that we strive for transparency, genuine inclusivity and responsiveness.

Top 5 contributors like Mario are invaluable, and their departure sends a strong message about the necessity of being heard and respected.

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Politics aside, I’m wondering what those leaving NixOS are going to do.
Personally, I can’t imagine using any other distribution and if I were to merely stop contributing the stuff I rely upon on a daily basis would fall apart pretty quickly (I’m the only maintainer in many cases).

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Exactly, very well written.

I understand your perspective, Pol.

It’s worth noting that the open letter received 232 signatures. However, 231 contributors have opted to keep contributing to nixpkgs, which makes me optimistic that things will work out.

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Including myself indeed, despite my deep reservations about the recent controversies we’ve faced. It’s heartening to see that a substantial number of us remain committed to the project. This shared commitment does give room for optimism.

Like the saying goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, change within such a complex ecosystem as Nix takes time and collective effort. Even though many aspects of nixpkgs are automated, it’s crucial to remember the human element - the people behind the keyboards - who are just as prone to mistakes as they are capable of forgiveness and growth.

And yes, I remain optimistic, but it’s important to acknowledge that sustaining this environment requires balance. If we find ourselves facing similar crises frequently, it could simply dissolve the project to smithereens.

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Leaving is a hard choice for most contributors, because dependencies run both ways. Having people continue contributing doesn’t mean they are content with the outcome, they could also just have a hard dependency on nixpkgs they cannot easily replace.

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Short-term: treat Nixpkgs as a non-friendly upstream, like people treat most of the software upstreams anyway (from time to time Nixpkgs treats Nix itself as a non-perfectly-clueful upstream, after all…). Fork out whatever you were maintaining in Nixpkgs, overlays are not that hard (for the level of competence of a significant contributor).

Longer-term, Guix? I find some basic fundamental technical decisions there even more uncomfortable than mistakes of Nixpkgs, and I don’t always find Guix better at making governance decisions, so I stay with Nix/Nixpkgs (but not NixOS, although I do manage my system with Nix — speaking of overlaying things while using Nixpkgs…) But I think some of the people unhappy with Nix* decision-making might be more comfortable with Guix decision-making.

I do keep some stuff that clearly un-upstreamable for various reasons as an overlay, it’s mostly fine…

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However, 231 contributors have opted to keep contributing to nixpkgs, which makes me optimistic that things will work out.

This is such a binary way of looking at ways to contribute…
Sadly: silent quitting is a thing in online communities as well.

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I am a small-time contributor but I am seriously considering moving all my Nix stuff over to Guix, and advocating people / orgs I am associated with to do the same. It’s a shame, because I actually would prefer not to do all that… but if the Nix community can’t figure things out then I don’t know that there will be much choice. I really wish Nix was a democratically governed free and open-source software project that operated based on a shared set of common values and goals.

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This topic is temporarily closed for at least 4 hours due to a large number of community flags.

This topic was automatically opened after 4 hours.

Evolving from a loose confederation of enthusiasts to a democratically governed project seems to be a normal part of a FOSS project’s “growing up”. For what it’s worth, this reply encourages me to stop contributing. If saying I wished that Nix “operated on the basis of shared values and goals” is too “political” then maybe this “community” really is too far gone. I don’t know if Jon and I have any shared values or goals in common, and if not, then why bother contributing to this project in which he has been promoted to a position of leadership?

I really can’t believe that my wish that we all contribute based on what we agree upon is taken to be divisive. It’s absurd.

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We are indebted to those who built this up and it is their perfect right to leave if they so wish. We thank them and wish them good luck. I am against demonising legal industries that contribute to the industrial base that we need to protect a civilised society against the growing list of powers that seek to overturn it using violence. The wonderful thing is that they can fork off and not lose their work and we / FOSS is the better for it because then there is more distro choice. Let us just get the best tech in the world going.

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If we cut off everyone who disagree with us, we would end up all alone, possibly cut in half.

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Thanks for everything, Mario! I just recently used a branch of yours to workaround some issue with ollama

May God bless you for all your work and contributions to nixpkgs. Stay steadfast.

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I’m sick and tired of seeing a couple individuals able to continuously and vocally derail and dismiss other contributor’s point of view.

Seeing that we’re now at the “fork off” phase, please pray tell, why aren’t those few causing all this ruckus forking out gracefully, if they feel so threatened? Why do they instead continue formenting this much division and trouble?

Most of the people concerned with the current situation and are slowly and silently winding down their contributions. This is the general sentiment I’m aware of. I suspect only a handful will make their exit known.

By now, I think it’s been enough for me. It’s clear, observing our valuable contributors going away and those who are pausing their contribution, that this is not just about a divisive point of view. This is rotting away at the pillars of the project. NixOS and Nixpkgs will survive despite all this, but severely diminished.

I can see a couple outcomes here, and I think in most situations NixOS and Nixpkgs will see tumultuous and troubling times.

I am definitely biased, I’ll stop pretending I’m not as biased as I am. The only safe way forward is to cut off the vocal minority at the root of the issue. And that vocal minority is the one making the NixOS community an unsafe place. It’s not an imagined scenario where the imaginary doors are being slowly opened to people making this an unsafe place. People have already been allowed to make this an unsafe place. They are currently attempting to boil the frog. What they forgot, is that the frog jumps out the moment the water is too hot to bear.

I’m not going to publicly list anyone, though I will refer to this message and this whole situation when discussing with the appropriate channels. After all, I am flawed, I don’t want to be wrong and accidentally cause harm to someone.

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I stopped advocating for Nix/NixOS at my workplace and I’m actually glad it didn’t gain much traction yet. Wouldn’t want to be the one who introduced the current shit-show, I’d be embarrassed.

Unfortunately, there’s not a good alternative to Nix/NixOS right now (Guix comes close, but it’s not for me) and I’ve already invested a lot of time into this, otherwise I’d also consider jumping ship completely.

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