NixOS Foundation board: Giving power to the community

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.


This concerns me. If it were up to me, I would not want such governance!


I actually agree with the idea that things cannot be apolitical. But let’s not call the other person a clown, ok?


A few notes as we try to keep everything as open, updated and transparent as possible.

We are reading all posts of constructive feedback, and opinion. Hopefully to be taken into account as we move forward in the coming weeks.

We are now live conversing on how to establish the process of choosing the assembly.

I am also trying to figure out how to have super public conversations while also keeping them on track so please feel free to provide feedback on that as I know we can keep improving that.


A rather important point to remember is that the current strife didn’t start with disagreement on fundamental issues. Those disagreements are real issues, and they need to be talked about, but it wasn’t what caused things to blow up.

What caused things to blow up was the lack of an environment to have productive discussions about what those disagreements should mean for our governance, with any attempts at governance discussions and mediation being constantly crashed and concern-trolled by the same few people, who made no attempt at understanding the points raised, gradually burning out more and more contributors until eventually no discussion was possible anymore.


I’m new here and still just figuring out the ins and outs of Nix (both technically and as a community), but this is a fantastic response.

Thanks you for addressing the concerns of the community in a thoughtful manner. It makes me feel comfortable continuing to stick around.


Most promising to see real commitment to a meaningful stab at real governance & organization, including explicit statements of policy in areas of critical importance.

No doubt managing this process at current scale (vs. the more common approach of having grown it more organically) is going to be a significant challenge, but looking at the people involved so far I have confidence on top of my usual optimism.

My thanks to everyone for their impressive efforts!

I am optimistic of soon being able to mention nix in professional context without worrying about potential “oh jeez - one of those armature-hour oss projects” eye rolls. Our belief in the strength of nix and its community will surely soon be more common.


FOSS itself is political, and the fact that you fail to realize you are the one trying to bring a rather bold political statement to this project lmao When protecting people from not feel unwelcomed, as can be seen happening on reddit, became political.


This is an important point. Thank you for reiterating it. At any time, people may elect to be respectful of one another, and try to productive/constructive even if you disagree with them.

A couple of decades ago, I used to work with Howard Rheingold - Wikipedia who was one of the founders of online communities. He used to sign all of his emails “what is → is → up to us” which is kinda corny, but I think he was talking about our problems here. It’s up to us.