Marketing Team Meeting Minutes #6

How time flies, this was our 6th meeting. Due to everybody being busy we were fewer then usual but we took the time to look at what was done and what are we planning to do. You can watch the discussion here.

  • Landing page is about to be merged (was already merged since the meeting)
  • search.nixos.org will be finalized in next day or two
  • Looking back at what was done so far:
    • separated the website from the infrastructure and moved to netlify
    • Reorganized the structure of the website. Navigation was confusing at some point since each project (Nix/NixOS/Nixpgs/NixOps/Disnix/Patchelf) was having its own navigation.
    • Removed some projects from the website and only left Nix and NixOS, but told as a single “story”
    • Documentation got a bit easier to reach (Learn page)
    • search.nixos.org improved the relevance of results
  • Future roadmap
    • to stay on point we only discussed only what we want to do until next release (~90days) and only what we are willing to work on
    • More documentations (tutorials/guides/…), #443
    • Change how we talk about Nix/NixOS on the landing page, #444
    • Find better examples for landing page, #445
    • Blog / News section (aggregate some categories on discourse and integrate planet.nixos.org), #446
    • Add up-to-date EC2/Azure/GCP images to Download page, #447
    • Help with 20.09 release with helping to write release notes and release announcement (Yes, 20.09 will have a “proper” release announcement :P), #448
    • Redesign of the website (no changing in how we build the website), #449
      • This can be quite controversial topic and many will want to contribute to discussion. There is no plan - yet - how we will approach this, but we will try to do our best and resources that we have.
    • search.nixos.org improvements, #450
    • Commercial support page, #451
      • Companies listed in random order, with logo and description what they do in regards to Nix/NixOS
      • Collect Testimonials and Success stories
    • Jobs section of the website, #452

As you probably noticed the Landing page change went live and if you were wondering what is going to happen next I hope this writing serves as a nice roadmap for what is coming in next 3 months.

Thank you for all the constructive feedback that we received so far.

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  • Removed some projects from the website and only left Nix and NixOS, but told as a single “story”

Hasn’t this gone too far? At the Learn page:

The Nix Packages collection (Nixpkgs) is a set of thousands of packages for the Nix package manager and NixOS Linux distribution.

Nixpkgs can be used separately from NixOS, this is not a self-evident property of a package collection, and this is an important stepping stone, or maybe a way to gradually get more and more benefits from Nix with less risk at each step.

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re: @7c6f434c

  • Removed some projects from the website and only left Nix and NixOS, but told as a single “story”

Hasn’t this gone too far? At the Learn page:

The Nix Packages collection (Nixpkgs) is a set of thousands of packages for the Nix package manager and NixOS Linux distribution.

Nixpkgs can be used separately from NixOS, this is not a self-evident property of a package collection, and this is an important stepping stone, or maybe a way to gradually get more and more benefits from Nix with less risk at each step.

I don’t think we went to far, but I think I owe some explanation, which probably is in one of the meeting videos:

  • Our main audience (especially for landing page) are newcomers to Nix/NixOS. This drives most of our decisions.
  • Users could care less about nixpkgs being a standalone project, but they want to know how to lookup/add/edit/patch/… package(s) when working with Nix/NixOS.
  • Tutorials/guides is clearly still work in progress but it should not take long before we have something in this direction. For now “exposed” the nixpkgs manual table of content on the Learn page is a good first step in that direction.

I hope this give more insight into what went into the decision.

re: @7c6f434c

  • Removed some projects from the website and only left Nix and NixOS, but told as a single “story”

Hasn’t this gone too far? At the Learn page:

The Nix Packages collection (Nixpkgs) is a set of thousands of packages for the Nix package manager and NixOS Linux distribution.

Nixpkgs can be used separately from NixOS, this is not a self-evident property of a package collection, and this is an important stepping stone, or maybe a way to gradually get more and more benefits from Nix with less risk at each step.

I don’t think we went to far, but I think I owe some explanation, which probably is in one of the meeting videos:

  • Our main audience (especially for landing page) are newcomers to Nix/NixOS. This drives most of our decisions.
  • Users could care less about nixpkgs being a standalone project, but they want to know how to lookup/add/edit/patch/… package(s) when working with Nix/NixOS.
  • Tutorials/guides is clearly still work in progress but it should not take long before we have something in this direction. For now “exposed” the nixpkgs manual table of content on the Learn page is a good first step in that direction.

I hope this give more insight into what went into the decision.

I had already seen these arguments in the previous (quite informative!) meeting notes before I posted my remark — but I feel that a minor rewording like

The Nix Packages collection (Nixpkgs) is a set of thousands of packages for the Nix package manager that NixOS Linux distribution is based upon.

would not be significantly worse for the target audience, but would give a more correct impression of the relation of things to people paying attention.

3 Likes

Love the new landing page. The examples whet one’s appetite for trying nix.
The only thing I miss a little is some colourful syntax highlighting. :slight_smile:
I’m not a native English speaker, but some of the grammar seems a bit off:

Using Dockerfile you are responsible to

nix also know

Could someone maybe review that page for spelling and grammar?

Related: The screencast (which is great!) says at 02:46 “Now we all need to is build docker image with our new minimal redis”, missing a “do” and a “the”.

Maybe it would even be a good idea to put standalone Nix into focus a bit more. Its probably of interest for a lot more people than NixOS. A good first step into that direction would be to agree on a term we use when we talk about it (Nix is good as the name for the binary, but incredibly ambiguous when mentioning it to people unfamiliar with it and essentially un-google-able) and then give it its own domain (even if it just redicrects to nixos.org).

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Is there a place to report bugs for search.nixos.org?

It doesn’t seem to give very useful results yet. Maybe need some tweaking how stuff is indexed in elasticsearch

Some examples:

systemd.services doesn’t give any hits

systemd.service does give a hit; namely one component for systemd.serrvices (plural) but the rest is missing

Haven’t been able to come up with a search query yet that actually gives me all the options of the systemd module so far…

2 Likes

The project lives here https://github.com/NixOS/nixos-search I also used my own python skript to prototype queries: https://github.com/NixOS/nixos-search/issues/31#issuecomment-627221856

Last I tested it, it didn’t support using a . in the search terms.

In general, it seems fine for package searches but option searches are…problematic.

1 Like

That also sounds problematic for package searches, whilst the nixpkgs namespace isn’t flat either

1 Like

Sorry for the long reply. Warning! Multiple replies in one …

@7c6f434c
I had already seen these arguments in the previous (quite informative!) meeting notes before I posted my remark — but I feel that a minor rewording like

I think I misunderstood you. Do you mean to change the wording on the Learn page? I think it would be much easier to talk about this if you just send a PR to nixos-homepage repo.

@timokau
Maybe it would even be a good idea to put standalone Nix into focus a bit more. Its probably of interest for a lot more people than NixOS.

Could you expand why you think Nix should be in the focus more? Why do you assume Nix is probably of more interest to more people? I think such claim needs more explanation and reasons behind it. Also I’m always interested how others view Nix/NixOS.

@timokau
A good first step into that direction would be to agree on a term we use when we talk about it (Nix is good as the name for the binary, but incredibly ambiguous when mentioning it to people unfamiliar with it and essentially un-google-able) and then give it its own domain (even if it just redicrects to nixos.org).

We talked about this at the meeting “#4”, but having such discussion is hard, long and very very bike-shedding. For this purpose we wont bring this discussion back at marketing meeting until we are done with our current roadmap.

@knedlsepp
Could someone maybe review that page for spelling and grammar?

If you find some (potential) grammar issue please feel to open a PR. It is much easier to discuss this with the right context.

A wish at some point would be to actually get a content writer to review our website and suggest changes. For now we will do as good as we can as a community, but I think such investment would be good one.

@arianvp @dalto @Mic92
It doesn’t seem to give very useful results yet. Maybe need some tweaking how stuff is indexed in elasticsearch

I would really appreciate if you report the queries that didn’t work for you and what would you expect the output to be. Please feel free to report them to nixos-search issue tracker that way I wont lose them.

We are still revising how to query exactly, in some cases we see many improvements in other cases we are not there yet. I’m aware of the “.” issue and I will look at it this week.

If you want to work on improving the search query please look at the current one in your Developer Tools in your browser and propose changes.

*to all
Thank you for taking the time and pointing out the issues you find. You can not believe how much I appreciate it. Thank you!

That’s just my hand-waving assumptions of course, probably biased by my usecase (Nix on desktop). My reasoning is that nix-the-package-manager has a much lower barrier of entry than NixOS. You can get most of the advantages of nix package managing with nearly none of the downsides of NixOS weirdness. It can serve as a sort of gateway drug. Its a clear differentiator in comparison to other package managers (“package once, use everywhere!”)

Yeah, I understand. I think it might be very valuable to get people talking about it, but its not easy. For example when talking with upstream I often find myself referring to myself as a “NixOS packager” (because “Nix packager” is way too ambiguous), which doesn’t really capture the truth and wrongly gives the assumption that you have to install a whole OS to dip into nix.

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