Time to step down

Hi all,

I’ve decided to step down from my position as a NixOS foundation board member, and as a Nix maintainer.

I joined the board a couple of years ago, at the request of the previous board, with the intent of supporting the community and helping it organise as it was growing.
I founded the Nix maintenance team a few months after that to make the maintenance of Nix more sustainable, and allow other people to contribute – and eventually maintain – more easily.
It has been a long journey, where I have, as much as I could, tried to bring my contribution to improve upon these two goals.

The recent drama-crazyness that spawned in the community a few months ago has killed my motivation to keep contributing.
I have been truly amazed and inspired by the overall commitment of most community members in improving things and keeping the boat afloat – whatever their vision of a successful community was. But I have also been deeply hurt by some behaviours, when people considered that pushing for their own idea of a successful community was worth spreading hate, defamation, fear and exclusion, or by the (too recurrent) thinking that one’s own agenda was more important than honesty, truth, and care for the others.
Because of that, I need to take at the very least some extended vacation away from the community.

This means that it is now time for me to pass on my responsibilities.
I’ve already in effect stopped acting as a Nix maintainer a few weeks go due to personal constraints.
I will remain part of the Foundation board until 2024-09-01 as it wouldn’t make much sense to transition during the assembly process, but with a minimal engagement and then leave my seat.
I’ve also – as @balsoft just anounced – resigned from my role of Nix group lead at Tweag.

Before leaving, I would like to apologize to anyone I have wronged in the community, whether it is by my actions or my lack thereof.
There is a lot of work to be done in the community as a whole. I hope that the work I’ve done has been – overall – going in the right direction, but I am also painfully aware that it hasn’t always been the case, and that I haven’t done nearly enough to make things go better. And for that I’m deeply sorry.

I would also like to thank all the community members for being part of that adventure with me, and for their dedication to the community.
In particular, I want to thank the board and the Nix maintenance team members – both current and past – whith whom I’ve worked the most closely.
Neither maintenance nor board work is a fun job, and both can be quite ungrateful, especially in the long run. Yet, they have all saved their best time and talent for it.

Let’s make the world a better place (with Nix or not)! And if anybody wants, I’m always available for chats, at least by email at theophane {at} hufschmitt {dot} net.




Sad… And thank you for all the time you invested so far !!!


Thank you very much Théophane. You definitely did a lot of good work!


I have been ocassionally critical of the board, and thus implicitly of you Théophane, but at the same time I recognize I could not have done the task better or lasted as long. Apologies for any pressure I put on the board that may have contributed to your decision.


Sad to see you go, but I completely understand your situation.
Still hope to bump into you in the future!
I still owe you some Belgian beer, probably. :sweat_smile:

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Thanks for all you have done, and especially for that FOSDEM talk: I will keep encouraging everybody I know to watch it :sweat_smile:

Those vacations are well deserved, take care !

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Théophane, your work inspired me to come to Tweag, especially the blog post on marrying Nix and Bazel. I even almost picked up your project of gradually typing the Nix language for my Bachelor’s thesis, but dodged a bullet there; it was way above my pay grade in the type hierarchy. Needless to say, it was a great pleasure to have you as a team lead, Nix maintainer, and NixOS Foundation board member, and overall nothing less than a life-changing experience to have developed an entire career around one of the most exciting and quirky pieces of technology in existence alongside you.

I wish you all the best on your path forward. Hopefully it will be less of a bumpy ride than the past months. Your passion and dry humor will be sorely missed. Thank you for moving so many needles where no one else did.

May your evaluation be pure, your builds repeatable, and your values strongly typed!


Very sorry to hear this Théophane! Thanks for all your help and contributions and best of luck for the future.

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May your evaluation be pure, your builds repeatable, and your values strongly typed!

Hmm… what’s the licence on this sentence? I feel an urge to… reuse it.


Thank you, Théophane. Your hard work and technical contributions have been inspiring and prolific. I hope to see you back after your deserved rest.



When I think back on the things that encouraged me to understand Nix deeply, from first principles, there were really only two that were significant:

  • the Nix Pills
  • your patient replies to the (occasionally incoherent) issues and PRs I opened in the Nix interpreter repo.

Your quietly capable work behind the scenes is something I really admire. The most depressing part of reading your post was knowing just how few in the community fully understand what it has just lost.

Thank you for saying out loud what so many of us are thinking.

I hope that someday there is an honest discussion of how and why things got to this point, instead of just talking about where we are going. That still hasn’t happened, and if it doesn’t, the project will simply end up back here again.