NixOS is not dying, please don't spread fear actively

Many of its members already left

Now I’m very curious about it. As we all know, not everyone who leave will immediately remove their maintainer handle, and not everyone will say “I’m leaving” with a loud voice. So apart from some members we can see in a few ways (20 as I have seen at this moment: Issues · NixOS/nixpkgs · GitHub), we may need to obtain GitHub’s contribution data, matrix’s message frequency, and discourse’s background statistics to determine whether our diversity has indeed declined in an obvious way.

I am in an almost unclear state on this matter. I don’t think that many people were actually involved in the quarrel. There should be many people who are aware of the current situation. There may be many people who are still unclear about the causes and consequences. But in fact, I don’t know how much impact this has.

For me, I still need to speak. I am currently maintaining 64 packages. I’m checking repology and zh.fail almost everyday so I can say I’m really “maintaining” them. I don’t care if this number increases five times. It may increase five times in one or two years under normal circumstances. I don’t think this conflicts with “having a life” (I have met some famous Arch Linux contributors a couple of times, and after careful observation, I really don’t think they are the kind of person that everyone is guessing to be, but their number of commits is almost comparable to r-ryantm) (If you know who I’m talking about, don’t tell them!)

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The positivity and optimism this post is trying to bring is very welcome at this juncture. Thank you @Aleksanaa

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Thank you for the post. I fully agree with the sentiment. Everyone I talk to about nix is really enthusiastic with how the project works technically and how well it solves a bunch of problems we have. I am too!

Now, I do not like to voice my opinion on a topic I cannot have an opinion on. On the contrary, I do not mind giving my opinion if I have the necessary background. I wonder how many reading this feel the same way. Anyway, in this instance, I clearly do not have the background necessary to voice a meaningful opinion but I would like to.

Is there some place explaining the facts behind all this? A post detailing what happened and that was verified by the community? Currently it seems everything is scattered all over the place. Is this link the current most accurate post GitHub - KFearsoff/nix-drama-explained: This is a repository that aims to concisely explain the issues in Nix community

EDIT: clarifying a bit. I meant I’m willing to voice my opinion on RFCs, do the work to help the community, etc. As long as I feel I have a good and fair understanding of the issue. I didn’t mean just « raising my opinion » for the sake of it.

because publicly discussing Jon Ringer’s ban is prohibited on this Discourse.

It’s not.

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tvix is so cool. just understanding how their whole monorepo is set up taught me a lot about nix

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Because this thread isn’t about John and Srid’s very deserved ban, and you should stop trying to derail it.

You talk like there wasn’t a whole thread about it. Don’t be so dramatic.

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The reasons were related to competence, and the “regime” was justified.

Can we stop using the word “regime” when talking about people that we potentially have to work with in the future, please? At least where I am from, the term comes with a heavily negative connotation and I don’t think that fingerpointing will help us on the way to having constructive conversations again.

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The problem is that a few powerful people are blocking most of the work needed to fix those problems.
Even by the most generous reading Eelco has shown to be an awful leader who seem to be incapable of reading the community and assuaging their concerns. Worse he at the very least looks like he is trying to pass the Nix community as his own, which is incredibly tone deaf and for many represent a point of no return.
@Aleksanaa is right that nixpkgs doesn’t need forking but to most at least the cppnix needs forking.

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The problem is that a few powerful people are blocking most of the work needed to fix those problems.

As far as I can tell, no one in the Nix community derives power from sources other than the community itself. There is no magical entity empowering Eelco or anyone else to do anything egregious against the will of the community. So no, I’m not willing to accept that a single man is a serious problem to the project or its community though the mere fact of his existence.
If he (or anyone, really) is able to assert more power than they should be able to, it’s only because we, the community, allow it to happen, or rather, because we as a community are too busy bickering amongst ourselves to leave room for people to exert power in.
So why should we dispense such huge amounts of energy on defying one persons opinions or ambitions if in the end they should matter so little?

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Informal power structures exist

The fact that when the community is trying to not allow it he is able to block almost all kind of compromise shows that he as very real power beyond the community’s own .

They matter so little that he is tearing the whole community in half about it

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I get the feeling this is kind of revolting against your parents. At some point you are grown up, your dad holds no more power over you, but you still feel he does because that was the way it always used to be.

Edit: Note I am not relating to some abusive or dysfunctional family. Just the normal coming-of-age thing most experience around their teens.

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Thank you for posting this. NixOS is such a unique distribution that there really isn’t an analog out there that can easily replace it (keyword here being “easy”, guix is neat but very different) unlike hopping from something like a Debian-based distribution to a RedHat-based one. I’m extremely grateful for the work that the maintainers do and am personally going to try and increase my level of involvement for a project that has given me so much and asked for so little in return.

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Same I totally understand the situation is not okay but coming with fresh eyes and because I’m not yet being burned out by the situation, I will continue to contribute to nixpkgs for the foreseeable future and try to help untangle the organizational situation.
I truly believe nix with nixpkgs is a gem and I want to see it grow technically and grow in adoption.
Btw Nix: The Breaking Point | Lobsters anywhere we can read more about what’s in preparation here?
Because right now, where I’m at, I have no idea where to direct my energy and enthusiasm.
Just to be clear, my first personal objective here is to help nix and nixpkgs - the technical project - and the community around it while I have less stakes in helping the foundation better itself, although I’d be happy to help. I also will not be actively working on breaking or forking anything.

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Bravo!!!

Congratulations for this blogpost.

I think this is pretty bad leadership from Xe Iaso:

Whatever the problem is, having the product and the community suffer because of political problems is a total shame. It signals to the “teenagers” of the future to never fight for your ideals, because everything is broken anyways, and is extremely pessimistic.

What about the actual facts? Am I right in my understanding that the Anduril sponsorship didn’t end up happening? And the other actual fact is that people is getting banned for having links in their github accounts?

I’d like to call for union and understanding and love. NixOS made my life better (although I hate it sometimes) but all this has been making so much noise… I just want my system to work, and I’m happy to contribute with what I can.

Most of the irony of this situation I think is in the Paradox of Tolerance – inclusivity and acceptance seem to be one-sided, Eeco’s leadership is almost non-existant (as well as actual influence in the nixpkgs process), what’s the actual “power” that this individual has?

So, if after all this drama is gone, then we as a community resurfaced as a stronger one, with better resistance to intolerants that wave flags of tolerance.

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No, you are wrong in your understanding, those are not actual facts.

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AFAIU NixCon 2023 doesn’t list Anduril

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This is about NixCon NA 2024.

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Thank you! I wasn’t aware of this.

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Am I right in my understanding that the Anduril sponsorship didn’t end up happening?

No, it happened, but I don’t know how to answer “happening”. Donations to the Foundation and to NixCon are one-time only. You can check out a list of financial contributors in The NixOS Foundation - Open Collective.

And the other actual fact is that people is getting banned for having links in their github accounts?

Yes, there should still be room for discussion on this option. While personally I am certainly emotionally supportive because I am trans, whether we should manage so broadly is perhaps something to be discussed. It is very likely that we (the community, not necessarily including me) will need to revise the moderation clause recently, and I hope we can handle this issue appropriately.

Eeco’s leadership is almost non-existant

Not zero, but not as big as some posts said, as you may have seen.

First of all, nominally, Eelco Dolstra is a member of the Nix team (Not Nixpkgs, Not Nixpkgs, Not Nixpkgs), and may be the most important member. He definitely has some autonomy in the development of Nix, and there are some situations where he does not fully listen to the opinions of the community. There are indeed cases where he prevents new members from participating in decision-making (he may not have intended this, but it may have caused such a result).

At the same time, Eelco Dolstra is the leader of the foundation board and is undoubtedly the most important leader of the community. He may indeed abuse this title to benefit his own business projects. At the same time, he once again acted a little taken for granted regarding the community’s attitude, and underestimated the community’s opposition to some of his decision-making.

Regarding Anduril, some people think that DetSys (a commercial project) led by Eelco made a deal with Anduril and betrayed the community, to let the Anduril’s sponsorship in NixOS foundation happen. Graham once said, “We signed a confidentiality contract,” but we have no conclusive evidence on this matter.

what’s the actual “power” that this individual has?

This largely points to our real problem. Many things in NixOS org are performed by customary rules rather than written regulations. Some people and organizations just stand in a certain position due to historical reasons, but they may not work well enough, and we do not have mature enough rules to elect people to replace them.

I would also like to point out that the problems brought about by this situation should be a problem for all of the community to solve, not a problem of some individuals. It’s not that Eelco or Foundation and Moderation team are unwilling to “hand over power” (Eelco has expressed that he is willing to “hand over power”), but that we don’t have enough regulations to make this transition. Therefore, it makes less sense to criticize individuals on these issues.

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