NixOS Foundation board: Giving power to the community

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.


Closed-source software is not?
If both are, then what is the distinctive of your otherwise irrelevant phrasing?
What are you trying to convey?


I am not new, I am not here from Reddit, I have contributed as best as I’ve been able, and I have digested all that is possible about this including meeting minutes. I hope to participate in the constitutional assembly. I trust that It will be a welcoming space for good faith dissent.


What are you trying to convey?

Nothing can be apolitical, with FOSS being a prime example

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Clearly there are some issues that are more on topic than others. Discussing security rules for nixpkgs and how to handle license incompatibilities is more relevant than what the minimum wage is. The scope of Nix’s concerns should be primarily focused on Nix.


I think I kinda knew deep inside me that this would happen rather than other possible outcomes.
I’m kinda looking slightly forward to how things will evolve in the future.

It cannot be denied that the entire idea that software does not need to cost money, that you can look at the source code, obtain and redistribute it while also fixing bugs you encounter or add new features and incorporate it into your project is already political.


Dangerously entering the territory of gishing, what “political” and “apolitical” means?
As Vulnix pointed out, it would be very strange if we started talking about minimum wage…

everything is on topic

Usually when someone throws “everything is political” (especially FTPs), it works like a slogan+shibboleth, especially employed to mark the other people as :clown face:.

I fear this slogan is being used as a polite way of being lofty, elitistic, exclusionary and asshole.


If people think replies of certain individual is unproductive, maybe they can ignore it? It doesn’t seem to me that they are spamming to an extent where no discussion is possible.


Rather than trying to construct new governance mechanisms from the community, which is certainly going to be quite difficult, has there been any consideration of joining an existing foundation that might already have some governance processes in place?

For example, the Linux Foundation. Arguably that would be quite a good home for NixOS.


Reusing something that is well-understood and reliable, over reinventing the wheel, is definitely a very prudent option

Given that one of the triggers of the current situation is the current Foundation saying «write us a policy and we mimic Apache Software Foundation in the interim» and getting no general-policy proposals (with some people refusing to propose a general policy but hating the implications of the Apache one), just joining a random well-established software foundation is not going to heal this split.


As the OP cited Pieter Hintjens, I recommend his work on C4.1, a process for communities building software. He specifically tries to minimize the negative effects of bad actors.