NixOS Foundation board: Giving power to the community

I’m incredibly happy to see that the Foundation is committing to spearheading a rework of Nix’s governance structures. It’s been something that’s been long overdue for quite some time in my view, and I’m looking forward to seeing this new direction begin to heal the rifts that have emerged in this community.

I do have a few questions around the constitutional assembly, namely:

  1. How will members of the assembly be chosen?
  2. To what extent will the wider community be able to participate in designing the governance structures?

I certainly don’t expect answers here (as mentioned in the statement, the finer details are still a work in progress and I acknowledge that), but I do still want to call them out as I think they’re important factors to keep in mind when working out those details. These are matters of community governance, after all - it’s important that community members feel able to speak their mind on how we should lead ourselves.

All in all, a huge thank you to everyone on the Foundation board, and to everyone in the community who assisted us in getting to this point. I’m optimistic that we have the will and the backing to build a better Nix community - excited to see where we can go from here!


I have two questions regarding how to define community…

  1. Do the individuals that were banned previously count as part of the community?
  2. How do we decide if someone is in the community?

I am concerned about 2 because I feel that people here often treat people coming from reddit as mobs that are trying to degrade the discussion. Some of them may be, but I think there are also a lot of normal users there.


This is great to hear! Thanks to everyone for coming to a conclusion together. This has indeed been a stressful couple of days, even as a desktop user and aspiring developer just peeping in from the sidelines. I hope we can come together as a community and keep pushing forward for the sake of Nix, its contributors, and its users.


Its task will be to set up a new governance structure, run by the community, that is capable of serving the community’s needs.

What will your instructions to the constitutional assembly be? Especially I am interested in how the new structure ensures accountability. Some kind of checks-and-balances in the future structure is needed.

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Whatever definition of “community” is used, I think it’s imperative that it includes the universe of Nix users and contributors. This discourse instance, the Matrix server, the subreddit, a mastodon, etc are all merely “a community”, and not “the community”.


2 posts were merged into an existing topic: NixOS Foundation board announcement: Moderation concerns

I find this outcome to be quite subpar. While I agree with a lot of points raised by people in favour of needing a change and do believe there was a clear problem in existence that needed to be addressed, what I don’t like is how distasteful people’s behaviour has been towards the whole situation.

That said, I am sure the step taken by the signatories and pushed forward by the community members mentioned above is one that will resolve this situation in a better manner than any other outcome may have.

I sincerely hope that any community member put on positions of responsibility will take it more professionally and respectfully than people on both ends of the sword have in the last 2 weeks worth of conversations I’ve seen.


Foundation board members, thank you for the long hours you put into this. I have no doubt it took more effort than I can imagine, and I can imagine a lot of effort. I think it speaks to both your dedication to the project / community, as well as the merits of the NixOS project as a whole.

I look forward to the next steps of constitutional assembly and community-based governance, and will help out if I can.


Thanks to everyone involved for their hard work on this!


Kudos to all who were involved! I wouldn’t be able to function that well at that time, let alone make important decisions! :pray:


is sad to me see you go


Thanks to the Board for this thoughtful message, and to Eelco in particular for agreeing to a compromise that I hope can lead Nix and NixOS out of the present difficulty. I would like to humbly submit that Nix / NixOS / NixOS Foundation should become a voluntary association, as I outline here: Nix should become a voluntary association

I’m glad to see that this announcement seems to have been mostly received well and I hope this means that we’re almost on the other side of the community conflicts. I’m sure a lot of folks are still waiting to see where this leads first before calling it, but it seems like a solid good-faith start in restoring trust.

That said, as I mentioned in the thread, I kind of hope this doesn’t discourage people from starting alternate Nix communities. Not sure how much interest there actually is in maintaining more communities (It is thankless work to be sure…) but I feel like there is room to have more unofficial venues to discuss Nix, especially seeing as there are clearly people here who have very different mentalities for how communities should be ran.


Unlikely, imo. A lot of people are more-or-less open that their approval or disapproval of any governance structure or appointment depends on whether they think it will take their side on defense contractor sponsorships. Indeed, this is to be expected if the objections really are from moral principle: why would you go along with evil just because some people you’ve never met voted for it?

I expect that every facet of this assembly will be an implicit referendum on the same topics, from who will be appointed to the assembly (will there be a balance of views about Anduril? will there be explicit minority representation?) to the assembly’s procedures (consensus? supermajority? simple majority?) to how the result is received (does “the community” get a veto? which communities?).

The beatings will continue until morale improves.


Could you elaborate? What do you mean by “the beatings”?

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It feels good to see this statement, and I hope the upcoming developments it outlines take us somewhere good.

This is a list that inspires confidence for me. Thanks, y’all.


Apologies if this is overexplaining the joke: It’s an ironic idiom in which the beatings are implied to be a measure implemented to improve morale, but they obviously only make morale worse. This is in reference to the substance of my comment, which is that discussion has mostly revealed that people have irreconciliable opinions on multiple subjects, and the proposed solution is more discussion – not just more discussion, but discussion without the parameters set ahead of time, so we get to have discussion about the discussion, which will not turn out any better.


I had never heard that expression before, but now that you explain it, it makes perfect sense.

You’re not wrong. There will be some strife no matter what the outcome is, and I’m not looking forward to it.

I think that impassioned and oft-well intentioned people often see their viewpoint as not just correct, but so blatantly obvious that it’s a failure of basic faculties to not come to the conclusion they already have. I definitely see some pros and cons of a given choice (and it’s certainly not worth re-litigating here, since further discussion is inevitable anyway, and this is the wrong venue.)

But beyond what the actual decisions are, I hope that more people will see that in many cases it is just simply not blatantly obvious. I hope that more people understand that there is often a genuine conundrum with valid points to be made towards different conclusions, even if they believe their viewpoint is the one that has the correct priorities for the project. It’s going to be hard to foster collaboration without some degree of mutual understanding amongst people, but I also see that there’s been a lot of antagonism and lack of respect for the potential of good-faith disagreement on charged subjects. This isn’t really a Nix issue: this happens over and over and over, all over the Internet, all over the world.

There’s a lot of work to do here, but I remain cautiously optimistic. While you can’t please everyone, I can see other things people took issue with in the open letter that this move could definitely make a difference on, and I hope that whatever conclusion ultimately arises for the sponsorship topic is at least made in such a way that reasonable people agree it was a measured and rational decision.