Sponsorship Policy Discussion, 2024-04-07



  • [mica] Wants to have a call out yay/nay for individual teams to be part of the selection committee and what the participants already agree on
  • [djacu] It just seems weird to have a subset of teams, could imagine the board reaching out to the teams for feedback, or all teams having a singular vote, a subset of teams seems strange and excludes other teams
  • [zimbatm] The idea was to increase the sampling of the community, it does not necessarily need to be all of the teams. Does that make sense for you? The idea was to broaden the number of people who have a voice in this
  • [tomberek] We have a few different things going on simultatenously, leads to different interpretations.
    • a) The designing of a general policy
    • b) The designing of a policy to solve the problem at the moment
    • c) Solving a specific problem that is the result of a current crisis in nixpkgs
  • [raito] The current status quo (vote with informal feedback) was not sufficient to vet sponsors
  • [ron] Different problemsets we try to resolve
    • a) Some form of sponorship policy that we agree on as a background
    • b) Wider community representation, how to get more important to certain aspects like sponsorship for increased happiness
      • Could be done in the form of a Nix* core team, that could make these calls, would that resolve the situation today?
  • [zimbatm] If we don’t use a selection committee, what is the proposal for a replacement?
    • We don’t have that core team right now, what can we use in the interim
    • The policy is not fixed and can be changed lateron
  • [Janik] Current situation isn’t working, more community feedback sensible
    • The idea with the selection committee was to get people involved that have a stake in the fallout if things go wrong
    • People are on strike because of the fallout, we don’t have active community members stepping up to Release manager either, and infra people are on strike
    • [tomberek] Identified as discussing point (c) solving a specific problem that is a result of the current crisis
  • [Mica] Making the policy so it satisfies the current users is shortsighted, should scale into the future
    • Reactionary policy isn’t good policy.
    • Can take into account what happened, but need to be careful
  • [djacu] Sticking with (c); Moderation team has a policy where you have an issue with decisions you don’t blast it out onto the internet, you contact them privately. We don’t share that same policy with other teams or with event organizers. It’s a good policy to have, we shouldn’t just be shouting at each other over the internet. This creates internet outrage. Treating work that other people do the same, could also reduce the workload of the moderation team.
  • [raito] To mica: This isn’t a reactionary policy, and reactions didn’t happen in time, so now people are demanding responses. These people who are maintaining things for years, there are not a lot of people lining up to replace them. This is going to fast.
    • To djacu: Agreement with the moderation team workflow, but feels this is orthogonal; How do we get sponsorship? That workflow is currently not very public, but I think it should be made public, so we can keep everyone accountable. More community involvement could reduce the outrage.
  • [tomerek] We should expect people to act professionally, that excludes creating outrage.
    • We did have a policy, it was explicitly boring. It is when it was made unboring, that opened up the debate and made it a hot debate
    • Demanding things in ways is quite strong language, but want to talk about the nixpkgs maintenance issue: This is a problem, I want to acknowledge it is that, and it should be looked at. People doing a large chunk of the work in nixpkgs do not feel their voice addressed. They see that the proposal to put the moderation team in their representation … solves (c), but not (a) or (b)
    • Representation of nixpkgs contributors should be organized better. With an appropriate authority/responsibility relationship.
    • It is a bad look that a moderation team has moderated the debate it was part of and then wants to come out as decision makers in the result
  • [raito] missed
  • [Janik] A policy we decide now is not set in stone, and we can always reconsider
  • [zimbatm] The policy is just one leg, there is also the culture of how we treat each other btw teams, how does the foundation become a better representative of the community. Janik has become board observer, so this improves the situation somewhat
    • Policy is a short-term solution, before we want a core team or some better solution, and that is why we have the moderation team in there right now
    • Can we in this discussion take the current policy we have and agree on a finished policy? Next tuesday would be next chance to review in a board meeting, but even then there is a chance for talks afterwards
  • [Ron] Point of order: where do we have gaps, and how can we tackle these gaps to come to a resolution?
  • [raito] Currently we have 2-3 gaps:
    • Whether we need a selection committe?
    • Who is part of the selection committee? Is the moderation team on/off?
    • To mica: The moderation team doesn’t represent the community as closely as preferred
  • [Mica] calling out the moderation and marketing team is helpful or correct, but rather we should form the selection committee and if people from the moderation team want to be part of that, that is a separate discussion
  • [zimbatm] We need a counter proposal, from people who are against the current setup
    • [raito]: current pr is the counter propsal
  • [Ron] Please reiterate on the current proposal? The main brunt is how is that team is formed, seems we are in general agreement around having some form of selection committee.
  • [Raito] Clarifies that Mica’s proposal is the counter proposal to djacu’s proposal (based on piegames and tomberek), which in turn is a counter proposal to piegames proposal
    0. piegames: Include the marketing and moderation in addition to foundation board and event organizers and for it to be veto-based with lazy consensus
    3. PR128: Derived from tomberek andp iegames proposal, changes in the rule how the vote happens (majority vote between event organizers and foundation board); selection committee is composed exactly of event organizers and foundation board
    4. Alternative by Mica
  • [Janik] I want the moderation team to be part of the selection team, because they know of the community and know the troublemarkers
  • [Ron] Thought we talked about dimensions/creations of the team, but also now how the vote is taken
  • [Raito] reiterates the two versions of decision making (majority vote vs veto with lazy consensus)
  • [Ron] understands that as an actual veto, example: Nix core team with representative of each team; in the case one team would veto they can block the decision
  • [Raito] Assume the event organizers forgot to ping the selection committee and that could lead to a similar situation, with the fallout landing with moderation and marketing, hence equipping them with the veto power
  • [tomberke] Let’s speak the truth here: Designing a policy to fix (b) is trying to design a policy to avoid the concrete situation is too much on point, trying to design a particular short-term outcome. Seems very short-sighted
  • [Raito] Disagrees, because the board is not composed of people supposed to be close to the community at all, interacting with people on nixpkgs. There is no expectation of that. If the event organizers were supposed to be part of the committee, we would first need to decide what even is a Nix event under that policy. I don’t see how you solve this by not introducing a third-party, which is why I don’t think this is actually short-sighted
  • [Julien] The current situation with event organizers and foundation already exhibits a de facto veto power. What would be the alternative to the moderation and marketing team?
  • [tomberek] I would like to see a situation where we have more conferences, more world-wide participation. This is part of the long-therm thinking in this process.
    • To Julian: If the foundation is not seen as representative of the community at large, then that is the actual problem, and designing something on the side to fix that is actualy dodging that problem. Let’s fix the foundation instead.
    • If we feel there is no team representing the vast majority of contributors, let’s create that team.
  • [Raito] I don’t see why this concrete proposal cannot happen after we pass the current proposal. You merge the easy PRs first and then iterate on that. You don’t go for the hard PRs first.
    • Role of the foundation board is primarily involved with management
    • We can have a result on this policy discussion on Tuesday, but going for a Nix core team is dragging this out and risks loosing more people
  • [Ron] Interested in seeing whether we can pinpoint the problems to solve this problem tomorrow. We need to be able to go back to work on other things
    • We need a policy
    • We need a selection committee
    • Problem is: How we go about voting within the selection committee
      • One angle is having a democratic vote, because it can be a good representation
      • Vetoing committee, which is concerning, which may turn out to be more complex, not reproducible and potentially problematic
  • [zimbatm] Some people don’t trust the marketing team, and they’re potentially injecting some malintent.
  • [raito] Like the opinion of Mica, tomberek, djacu on that
    • If you modify the voting system you can always include the moderation and marketing in the decision process
  • [Ron] Didn’t hear anyone not wanting moderation/marketing in the selection committee
  • [raito] Points out that djacu and mica did not want that
  • [Mica] Wanted not to call out specific teams at this point; wants to not list those two teams explicitly, but allow others to join as well
    • It is not true that the moderation team is representative of the community, and it was offensive how they summed up what the community is, essentially a meritocracy
  • [Janik] Nobody is opposed to form a group that is not the moderation team
  • [Ron] Point of action:
    • “Nix team representatives meeting”
      One team lead from every (above a certain threshold) team
    • Take the critical teams inside the community
      • Hearing Ryan’s point, where you’re saying sponsorship have deeper impact on marketing/moderation
    • Democratic Voting via a team that consists of a lead from each core Nix team (includes marketing/moderation)
    • Giving certain teams two seats on the committee, when they’re impacted more
  • [Raito] The fully democratic proposal would have issues it could be manipulated by people who want to create a certain outcome. This would be asking maintainers of every essential thing to organize and participate in the vote.
  • [tomberek] We don’t seem to be discussing the event team. They do the work, they should have a somewhat large say, how things are made. To have a simple veto override someone on the event team is quite a bit.
  • [Raito] Involved in multiple NixCons in the past, trying since the last NixCon to do a Project Lead team; a bootstrap team which I am a part of, trying to make NixCon boring, passing the same policy for CfP, etc., so new event organizers can have a lower cost of entry. If board and organizer team should work on the sponsorship situation, the outcome would essentially be the same.
  • [zimbatm] Democratic Votes vs Vetoing; proposes third option: Democratic, but try to work out a consensus
  • [tomberek] cleeyv came with the ACM FaaCT that was roughly similar: Something was proposed and unless there was an objection, and it would lazily pass. If there was an objection it would fall back to a democratic process.
  • [zimbatm] We’re putting too much effort on that thing, worst outcome is all of the sponsor would get canceled, and then we would have to revisit the policy anyway, but that is unlikely. So much energy is being injected. Let’s create a policy, try it out, we can still change it
  • [Ron] Can we find a mechniasm of us creating and iterating on these things in a healthy way? Because this is part of the external perception. Need to make sure the perception that our community is a great and healthy place. Also factors into other sponsorship discussions, like AWS.
  • [Raito] To Mica, Djacu: My understanding is that we’re still on track to make a policy based on what is on GitHub. Decision whether we want to modify the selection committee
  • [hexa] Feels hostile, we all agree that there should be something short term that we can iterate on. Therefore integrating the marketing/moderation team should be easy. So we can get a feel for how this works out
  • [djacu] Options for the committe
    • a) include marketing/moderation with event organizers and board
    • b) all the teams (not viable at the moment)
    • c) board for now… more teams when reps defined
    • d) mixed seat capacity of teams based on certain impacts
  • [Raito] Doubts that “all the teams” is well-defined
  • [djacu] Would need to define what the barrier for teams is, which could be every team on the homepage.
  • [Raito] I think we are in disagreement about going with (a), so not sure how to continue, but let me expand:
    • If we take all teams on the homepage, this runs counter to the structure of nixpkgs, which works more in an anarchistic way
    • Marketing and moderation team are interesting, because they interact with many places in the space
    • I don’t think all the teams is a realistic option
  • [Ron] Staring of small: Focusing on the next 12 months, we could define teams and responibilities better going forward
  • [Raito] We have to succeed to get a sponsorship policy that works for people working on nixpkgs. {[tomberek]: this is (c)? } Strongly opposed to anything that doesn’t work for that group.
    • Counter-Proposal: we could have moderation and marketing be part of the initial bootstrap and see how it goes, and move things around again later
    • Hard to iterate on something that happens once or twice a year. We try it on the next NixCon and see how it turns out.
  • [Ron] One outcome is that people would just not interact with the community based on that policy
  • [tomberek] There is no short-term need to get the policy in place for the next NixCon, because that seems already pretty safe to not blow up. Making that policy now is symbolic and targets problem (c): having that policy in place so we don’t lose contributors.
  • [Raito] Acknowledge that it is indeed symbolic, but what we had before didn’t work out. The idea is that we can forget about this because some system is in place.
  • [Ron] bias for action: How would people feel about deciding a policy, defining a selection committee, branch into a deeper thread
    • alternative: have a policy and then flesh out the committee, wondering how people feel about that seed-based mechanism
      • by calculating who is impacted, who is impacting, and use the flexibility to iterate from there
      • the initial iteration could be weighted wrong, and we could change that
  • [djacu] Re voting: veto based has a much greater vector for outsider influence, vs influencing a majority in the democratic process; working off of probabilities I would vote for democratic majority
  • [Ron] how do we feel about that?
  • [hexa] good experience with consensus, because every concern should be addressed, people who make these decisison should be trusted in the community, and there is social collateral in making bad decisions, so that should be enough
  • [Ron]
    who is doing the work (event0)
    who is impacted by the work (marketing moderation)
  • [Janik] Brings up the benefit of votes being public.
  • [Ron] Benefit of decigin on the committee: We’re still in the same boat, we’re supporting that committe and its decisions. Whatever we land on we can iterate on
  • [Raito] As long as there is no foul-play, if people in community are well-respected there is a trust relationship between people in the community and those making the calls. If there is trust so people can talk to each other about these things, we should arrive at a good outcome.
  • [Julian] When speaking about veto vs democratcy, I see the foundation as a whole with veto power, the event organizers also
  • [Ron] Pushing back on that: I don’t know if the foundation has a veto if the community decides a policy the foundation accepts that policy and stands by it.
    • Ron would push back heavily when the foundation would not accept the community decision to accept a sponsor
    • If someone wants to organize an official event and that is the policy and that is the team they need to work with, and they don’t accept it, then that is not an offical event
  • [Julian] Foundation, Event organiers, Third teams (community stakeholders), and each holds a veto power
    • (similar to UN Security Council?)
  • [hexa]: Majoriy vote under-represents minority opions. offending the 20% is not okay. Democracy would allow offending upto 50%.
  • [jonas]: voting implies a lack of consensus
  • [Raito] We fail to establish consensus on many things, so this is not far fetched
  • [Mica] Veto is dangerous, if you’re not okay with offending 40% are you okay with offending 60%
  • [hexa] current case is not about the numbers, but if 40% cares, that doesn’t mean 60% is opposed. There is certainly a large group of people who would accomodate the group who sees a problem.
  • [jonas]: less negative… what is the brand we want to have? Not having a sponsor does not limit the majority of the community to contribute. Don’t be too focused on the negative - create great events where everyone can participate. One sponsor doesn’t impact this.
  • [raito] what people are asking for is when visiting a conference, that they don’t get shoved the advertisement of certain companies into the face. The values of the community should be acknowledged.
  • [tomberek] discussion is now going down debating the specific decision, not the policy proposal
  • [Mica] if we can’t found the event, do we then take the sponsor? is that what was described?
    • The people who are unhappy won’t be satisfied, until a certain sponsor can be rejected
    • Unclear if those people would be happy with a vote moving forward, and if the outcome of that vote wouldn’t align with their values, would we be in the same situation again?
  • [Ron] Would there be a middleground. One one side we want to have veto for strong representation of minorities, but can’t we solve that through the composition of the committee. One person shouldn’t be able to consistently call the shots. It discourages consensus building, because if I can veto why would I try to reach a consensus with my peers?
    • Most things won’t even need a vote ideally. If we are still concerned afterwards, we can also move to a strong majority for accepting a sponsor. Not yet in veto land, but would address the concerns.
  • [djacu] Like this, would want to hear from hexa or Janik. Takes the single person veto power away, and you need people to agree with your objection.
  • [Janik] How do we deal with inactive people on the committee? One person consistently vetoing would put their reputation on the line. Voting would have to be public for that to work.-
  • [tomberek] Counter-Point: Ballot vote has strong precedent in a lot of places, because public voting could result in public shaming. There are both aspects at play, but there is a notion that sometimes votes need to be private.
  • [Raito] Strong majority could be something we agree on. The question is now what would be the seat representation. Ask for opposals.
  • [tomberek] We need to detail this a bit more, what is the exact process?
  • [Raito] Volume of voting of everything likely isn’t too expensive, most likely 15-30 minutes for all sponsors of an event.
  • [tomberek] Strong majority is for things that have a high cost, with a bias for rejection.
  • [Janik] Strong majority sounds like a good idea, can we just try it for the upcoming NixCon and see how it goes?
  • [Raito] If we go without object, we could now move on to representation
  • [Ron] Seating proposal (10 seats for a round number)
    • 3 seats for organizer team
    • 2 seats for marketing
    • 2 seats for moderation
    • 1 for board?
    • 1 for other team?
    • 1 for other team?
  • [Ron] Most of those seats should go to people directly representing the community, directly impatcting the work done, or directly impacted by the work done.
  • [zimbatm] Alternative proposal
    • 1 board
    • 2 event organizers (PL - Project Lead)
    • 1 moderation
    • 1 marketing
  • [hexa] The gender-minority group could be provided with one seat, because they bring a unique pov to the table
  • [Raito] We are unexperienced in this kind of topics, so maybe a seat should go to an external specialist, but likely difficult to implement
  • [tomberek] This is setting a precedent for the rest of the organization, and it is over-designed and we’re looking at it only from the perspecitve of how sponsorship works. Is this going to be the model of how we’re going to run the rest of the organization?
  • [zimbatm] Let’s not put too much gravitas on this, so it will be blocked forever
  • [tomberek] There is people putting so much gravitas on the details of this policy and threatening the existence of nixpkgs, based on the a relatively small logo on a webpage for an event in southern california. I don’t think it’s unfair for me to point that out.
  • [Raito] Might be true, but the situation is a crisis, as you acknowledged earlier, and now that we’re converging on a solution, you’re going back on it
  • [Ron] We need to make very initential and thoughtful decisions here, to bring the project back on track. We’ll be iterating and trying to improve. There will be external people who might pick at this, but if we communicate this right, and treat this with enough gravitas, we can use this to set expectations with this.
  • [Mica] Agreeing with Tom, that there is too much gravitas, but the outcome we’ve arrived at is good. Given the time spent in this discussion, I feel that iteration will be difficult, because it is a contentious topic, so iteration may only happen a few couple times.
  • [Raito] Inclined to understand the silence as agreement on finshing up the seat representation. Would like to get exact representaiton right:
    • 1 board
    • 2 event orga
    • 1 moderation
    • 1 marketing
    • 1 gender minority
  • [Raito] Rationale: There is bias throughout the general majority, so including a person from the gender minority group will increase diversity.
  • [tomberek] Why that specific minority and not others?
  • [Raito] If we e.g. had a group for people of color, we could also include that
  • [zimbatm] Moderation team already represents the community
  • [Raito] Including gender minority should be considered a blocker
  • [zimbatm] Point is being made really late in the discussion and should be argued really well
  • [Janik] Moderation team composition may change and not include a gender minority person down the road
  • [tomberek] We’re trying to achieve a consensus here and you define hard blockers that were not previously brought up, something is wrong here
  • [Raito] Rejecting the point that this point has come late or was not previously brought up. Has been driving the discussion and try to moderate things, hard to say where we would land. We also call up late with strong majority and seat representation composition. The moderation team today does include a gender minority person, but that may change. But it is a good idea to include the case about diversity in the group composition, to make sure the intent sticks.
  • [Ron] Optimizing for progress, consensus and trust; heard from Ryan, which previously stated that the moderation team represents gender minorities; can we make sure that the minorities are represented as we intend to? could the moderation team be a representation of that subgroup? if we include subgroups, we need to discuss why one over the other, and that opens up more discussions.
  • [Raito] Seats are defined by the roles they fulfil, not by their identity
  • [Ron] But we said the moderation team is great representation of the community. I care about community representation, impact on the work and impact from the work.
  • [Raito] Because we switched to strong majority it comes to to seat representation, I generally trust all teams, but ideally there would be an external third-party input, and that could be provided by persons from the gender minorities
  • [Ron] What I perceive from you is totally valid. You’re mentioning that the moderation team might or might not do that, and that is also valid. But if we incrementally optimize every gap, that can lead us into a much longer discussion. Optimize for consensus in this iteration. missed a bit
  • [Raito] Understand your position. My argument for including that extra person. I think we need that group. Making the right decisison now will create the correct intuition for people deciding on this going forward.
  • [tomberek] The argument now is, that we want to set a precedent. Making my point from earlier. Is this a hard blocker? We want to reduce conflict, debate, outrage, outcry. You know this is something that will be called out and cause another round of debate. We were quite close with what Jonas proposed, and this reopens the discussion. You are not oblivious to the fact.
  • [Raito] With the proposal from Jonas I think we’re missing something to prevent the current situation from happening again.
  • [tomberek] Clearly this proposal is more contentous than whether the moderation/marketing team will be included
  • [Raito] The sheer resistance to this creates an indicator that I’m not comfortable with. Wondering what the concerns about this are supposed to be. We’re operating with so many safeguards already.
  • [Ron] Totally pro having representation; Sharing high level thoughts on the debate (not personal opinion): If we are looking to add a group, we should know more about the team/group. We were very close to agreement, and the teams Jonas added feel very clear, we know them.
  • [Raito] The board seemingly being unaware of this group is exactly a manifestation of that problem.
  • [Julian] It was said that moderation team is used as a proxy for minorities in this group, would it be acceptable to add a second seat for the moderation team and be done with it?
  • [Ron] I would totally be fine with that, we would be going back to the 10 seats proposal
  • [Julian] no, 6 seats and 4 are needed to accept
  • [tomberek] Wait, the moderation team then has the same number of seats as the people doing the work?
  • [djacu] If we want two people of the moderation team, then I would prefer going back to the 10 seat model
  • [zimbatm] We’re dealing with uncertainty here, which is what makes this situation stressful. People were opposed to the moderation team initially, now the moderation team is not good enough, but you said the moderation is representative. But we agreed that we want to iterate this and improve the policy going forward. Can we move forward with this and iterate? It is fine to create another proposal.
  • [Raito] Was prepared for this taking this much time. Willing to compromise on this if the moderation team does not represent gender minorities anymore, whatever that means. We would change the proposal immediately, or the selection committee is effectively not operating. probably no accurate
  • [Ron] This is what it is all about, what you just said is totally given and is part of iterating. If something we landed isn’t working then we work to make it better with new information/new updates.
  • [Janik] Sees a difference between event organizers and project lead teams. Project leads are here to make sure the event stays consistent, while event organizers are local.
  • [tomberek] The local organizers now have 1/8th in a time were we are trying to make sure we run more events around the world.
  • [Ron] Understand ryan that he is okay with five seats and if that didn’t work out we’d fix that.
  • [Ron] When there is an Asian NixCon, they’ll organize the two event organizers, they’ll have two seats in the proposal
  • [tomberek] Clarifying: Janik wants one seat to the local organizer and one seat for the global orga (PL)
  • [Janik] PL exists in the form of the NixCon team today already; NixCon Team | Nix & NixOS

btw: thank you lassulus for the jitsi and pad infra (very critical infra) ++++ <3

  • [Raito] Summarizing
    • What we have is what Jonas propsed initially
      • 1 board
      • 2 PL
      • 1 moderation
      • 1 marketing
    • That was changed to
      • 1 board
      • 2 event orga (local)
      • 1 moderation
      • 1 marketing
    • And then split into local and global event orga
      • 1 board
      • 1 PL
      • 1 event orga
      • 1 moderation
      • 1 marketing
    • My current proposal
      • 1 board
      • 2 PL
      • 1 moderation, under the condition that it’s GM represented
      • 1 marketing
  • [Raito] I don’t see that local organizers should be involved in organizing the sponsorship at all
  • [Ron] The NixCon team hasn’t formalized yet. This isn’t factual today.
  • [djacu] Very concerend where a lot of these options are coming from. Discourse has been we want people who put in the work in the community, people who work on nixpkgs, core things, infrastructure, marketing… We have said we want people that are represnetative of the community, I don’t understand how saying that event organizers shouldn’t really be concerned with sponsorship
  • [Raito] Giving an example: Dealing with the NixCon 2024 proposal in Zurich (sic?: ZuriHac?), total cost of attendence was very high, personal belief would be that it would have been catastrophic. There was a local team who already organized Zurihac locally, but they were not aligned with what the NixCon team is about, so this didn’t work out. People wanting to work on sponsorship should instead join the NixCon team.
  • [Janik] Just because you don’t have the NixCon name, you can still request funding from the foundation. It doesn’t mean your event isn’t happening.
  • [Ron] There is one NixCon a year, and lots of people here know what goes into making that happen. We’re now talking about an optimistic case, where an additional NixCon might happen, NixCon NA. We don’t have the budget or the infrastructure in place to tell the local organizers that they don’t need to worry about these things. The local team has up until today been impacted in full by the local teams.
  • [tomberek] It was said that gender minority representation was a hard blocker, but now it isn’t? We need to block calling it that then
  • [Raito] The idea was to add to the policy that once moderation has no gender monitory representation anymore, then the policy would need to be revisited to correct that.
  • [Ron] Defer open questions about details, e.g. global PL vs local organizers, to a later stage. Can we agree to
    • 1 board
    • 2 leads from event orga (probably PL in the near future)
    • 1 moderation
    • 1 marketing
  • [tomberek] Nothing prevents PLs from being involved locally, probably good for broader perspective, allows solving tasks like sponsorship from a global perspective. But being involved locally is what should give them the seat.
  • [Ron] This is just the sponsorship policy, we’re still formalizing the Project Lead team, which probably come up with more guidelines going forward.
  • [Raito] Sticking with hard blockers on GM representation
  • [Raito] If we pass policy that is obviously on the local team, that the PL cannot access, it is possible that the outrage will reach another form, that event will not be called NixCon. This will be the new way, to have a last resort. Risk is somewhat high.
  • [Ron] This is only about sponsorship, please clarify.
  • [Raito] We might have multiple NixCon teams in multiple locations, it will be increasingly hard if the NixCon team is not included the event organization. The team was formalized in fall 2023. Want the PL team in once it is ready. Wants to make sure everyone on the call knows this exists. Making sure this is a surprise to nobody.
  • [Janik] Make sure the NixCon NA doesn’t happen again (problem (b)), looking at the current composition I see the same situation happening again, hence want to have a PL seat
  • [Ron] In case the moderation team is not happy with a sponsor they just need to convince one other representative.
  • [Raito] Still discussing rons proposal
    • 1 board
    • 2 leads from event orga (probably PL in the near future)
    • 1 moderation
    • 1 marketing
    • plus my proposal that the policy becomes invalid once moderation has no gender minority members anymore
  • [djacu] I think this is good what we have right now, and I really like the idea, and it would be a good for this governance aspect to happen. As things become more formalized an the PL team has that capacity and ability this things becomes a more formalized policy within the greater nixcon team. But until then this is good.
  • [Julian] The proposal is good, because it cites every stakeholder, it’s a good compromise and we should go with this
  • [djacu] As things evolves, as the PL team evolves, we’ll change it
  • [julien] NixCon team is currently working to become established.
  • [ron] optimizing for progress tomorrow. for the right now. Next event is being driven by PL anyway. How to unblock?
  • [raito]: totally agree, currently because of the sponsorships, the PL morale is not high, also am personally on PL team, but requires time. Without this, it would make the PL team dead on arrival.
  • [ron] frustrated that we have discussion about the PL team, they can be involved. Adding a formal PL team into this policy discussion needs to be clear.
  • [raito]: this can be a problem
  • [jonas]: what is score of PL? (answer: covers only NixCon). This policy covers? (only formal events). Ron is saying missed. Other organizations and cultures may make different choices. Desire to make the PL stronger can be done
  • [raito]: don’t want to make events that offend the community. This is the right thing to do.
  • [jonas]: if NixCon then 1PL/1EO otherwise this poli…
  • [raito]: NixCon and formal events have a relationship. Example, sprints.
  • [jonas] this is expanding the conversation
  • [raito] feel like this needs to be stated and to make a stand.
  • [jonas] where is this discussed?
  • [raito] let’s not go back to PR
  • [jonas] two points… composition of team and decision procedure. These points are in addition.
  • [raito]: proposals did not cover supermajority
  • [janik]: understand that sponsorship policy applies to all official events. All events in the style of a NixCon is not an official event. The NixCon.
  • [tomberek]: is this about the word “NixCon”?
  • [janik]: the outcry is due to association with NixOS Foundation
  • [Ron]: approaching discussion as progress on sponsorship policy regarding Nix brand. Role of PL is greater than just sponsorship. Want to make progress tomorrow. 85% of the way there? Concerns from both sides of table. NixCon EU is full PL anyway, proceed and be able to have 6 months of development. So much time has been spent on this. Frustrated that were close to agreement.
  • [raito] how to close the call:
    1. confidence vote on options
    2. nothing, postpone
  • [ron]: sponsorship for formal events and NixCon is being conflated. Community should feel good about more events. Non-NixCon event organizers having little say demotivates local events and innovation. Upcomming NixCon likely not impacted.
  • [jonas]: appologies, policy is about all events. Proposed with 2 EO (event organizer) and that for NixCon in particular, separate document, that NixCon will have a PL included in EO. Event where PL team is involved team.
  • [janik]: role of PL team is to create a continuity between various events.
  • [tomberek] If this unblocks us this can be done. Does this unblock the stirkes? The objections?
  • [hexa]: feels like we are going somewhere, felt blocked for last three weeks
  • [raito]: step that has taken us few hours is a good step. closer to closing the crisis.
  • [jonas]: anecdote, small-PR vs large PRs
  • [dan]: Dan will submit a PR for this. (decision: ???)
  • [raito] recommend people take a break, reconvene async



14 posts were split to a new topic: Objection to explicit gender minority representation in NixOS sponsorship policy

Quick note on the post here for context.

These are raw notes taken by a heroic effort from Hexa on a public call that ended up being 3+ hours instead of 1. While it’s understandable to read into individual comments, I encourage to focus on the broader items and the potential proposals highlighted towards the end. It’s hard to transcribe discussions fully when they are 30 minutes long, keeping the tone/context/etc… to minimize any misunderstandings that can come from a written format, imagine what data could be lost in translation when it’s over 6 times as long.


Remember that the goal is to enjoy NixCon. We’re just trying to find a better sample of the community for sponsor selection. Adding one group or another isn’t taking anything away from you.

Now please keep the conversation on point. We already wasted enough CPU on this topic.


Can someone clarify what “Project Leads” means here. I’m confused. For example, I’m not on a Nix team anymore, but I was one of the primary organizers of NixCon NA, which was very successful by most accounts. Where would I fit in this discussion? Would I be allowed on the selection committee?

I don’t understand the comment about the event organizers having no say on the sponsors. If teams can be included because fallout will have an impact on them, then the organizers should have a say as well given that organizers are often the face that people associate with the event e.g. the people at the front of the room with the mic, the people at the registration table, etc. Fallout can affect individuals as well.

I’m sympathetic to wanting representation, but I’m legitimately unsure how to go about doing it. If you enumerate all the groups you want to represent (1) you will fail to do so because the human experience is complex and intersectional and you will miss someone, and (2) let’s say you do enumerate them all, does each group get their own seat? What about groups that overlap? How does that number of seats compare to the other seats that are based on role/function instead of identity? To keep things balanced do you end up needing an impractically large selection committee? Given a fixed number of seats for certain identities, how do you prioritize one identity over another?

I’m legitimately unsure, and I’m definitely not trying to say “it’s hard to figure out so let’s just do nothing.” I just don’t know how to satisfy all of the constraints.


Project Leads are defined in this link (from the first post):


I would like to hear from @hexa and others who feel similarly if this action resolves the issues raised, and if not, what else needs to be done in your opinion?

Posts from social media like this, or this, or this, or this do not really inspire confidence.


I think with everything going on it remains much too early to say anything definitive.


Hey folks, just wanted to throw my two cents in about including “gender minorities”. Noticed that a new thread popped up, but it was locked down in less than a day. :confused: Any other spot around here where I can share my thoughts on this?

1 Like

No, there isn’t and please don’t. I don’t believe that the opinions of a name unknown to this community on this topic would be anything but harmful to the conversation.


The discussion was so toxic that Discourse automatically locked it down due to the number of posts being flagged. We decided to not reopen it again because clearly the community has shown to currently not be able to discuss such topics in a civilized matter. (Note that this is not the first time this happens either)

Moderation capacity doesn’t grow on trees, and that peope abused the flagging feature to get posts they disliked with hidden did not help either.


I can actually provide an answer to this: you don’t need to do any of this, at least initially. There is a large (albeit imperfect) amount of solidarity between marginalized groups, because different marginalized groups often end up having to deal with similar issues and barriers. This means that the most important step is to represent a marginalized group, and then work from there to gradually improve things.

Accommodating marginalized groups is always going to be a complex subject that will need to be tailored to the situation, and that makes it impractical to try and exhaustively define the solution upfront. Instead, it’s about creating space for marginalized folks in general (often only partly a policy issue, and much more cultural) and then continuously adapting the circumstances and policies as it becomes clear exactly where the representation gaps currently are.

As long as that space is created, I don’t think anyone is expecting a perfect solution to come rolling out of the oven, and one is not needed either. People can figure it out once the barriers to doing so are removed.


Thanks for the response, I would get behind that