Proposal for improving Nix error messages

I’d like to hear everyone’s thoughts on proposal and to chip in to make Nix even better for beginners :slight_smile:

15 Likes

From my relatively small experience (helping just a few friends with nix) I feel the highest improvement / cost would be making it clear for which user stuff is being done when using tooling. This might be obvious when you have some understanding of nix already but results in very very very painful confusions when one is not at that point yet or not careful. Issues like this pop up even on Discourse.

Otherwise I very much support the initiative and promise I’ll contribute to the cause the moment I signed contract for next job (hopefully during the next 7 days)

3 Likes

In case anyone missed it at the bottom of the blog post, there appears an OpenCollective to sponsor some of this development:


@domenkozar Would it be possible to add some more details about how the OpenCollective thing works?

I’d like to internally propose that my company donate some money to help sponsor this, but I want to be able to answer the following types of questions:

  1. When do we actually have to pay? When the work is done? Or right when making the donation?
  2. Is there any guarantee that the work will be completed?
  3. What will happen with the donated money if the project is abandoned without being finished?

Hi @cdepillabout,

@domenkozar Would it be possible to add some more details about how the OpenCollective thing works?

Yes, of course. Donations go directly to Ben’s company and you can choose to donate a one time sum or monthly recurring sum.

When do we actually have to pay? When the work is done? Or right when making the donation?

Work will be done in batches as described on the opencollective page, as the first batch is funded, Ben will start with the work.

Is there any guarantee that the work will be completed?

I’ve been around for 7 years and I guarantee with my reputation and via Enlambda OÜ, Cachix company that the work will be either performed or donators will be refunded.

Eelco already approved of the proposal in principle, but each pull request will have to be reviewed
and the plan is to start small, with foundations.

What will happen with the donated money if the project is abandoned without being finished?

The project has multiple milestones, the milestones that are not reached but funded will be returned to the donators.

Ben has availability to work on this, so the results should be seen in weeks after the first milestone is funded.

Did I address your concerns? :slight_smile:

2 Likes

That sounds good! Thanks :slight_smile:

This one is planned to be addressed, there are a couple of ways to do it, but that’s up to just doing the work :slight_smile:

1 Like

How do we suggest concrete problems to be fixed? Do we post an issue here at nix-error-proposal?

For example, where can I get this into this initiative? Question & Help wanted: duplicated elements in listOf option This person very unfortunately picked the name meta for custom configurations and apparently wasted 10 hours figuring out why everything is being duplicated

1 Like

We plan to create an error catalog, for now you can add it to https://github.com/bburdette/nix-error-proposal/issues/3

Funding has reached phase 1, Ben has already started the work.

  1. phase crowdfunding is about plumbing existing errors to use the error reporting in existing codebase.

If your company wants to support improving Nix ergonomics let me know if you have any questions.

1 Like

A good week after, Ben completed phase 1 and is ready for review: https://opencollective.com/nix-errors-enhancement/updates/first-funding-milestone

Thank you all for participating, looking forward to getting phase 2 where the new log formatting will be used in existing places.

For the second phase we need to raise 1400$, if somebody knows a company that cares about Nix ergonomics please let me know at domen@cachix.org

1 Like