What is happening with the community?

Hello everyone,

I know Nix still has thousands of contributors, and I think it’s not going to die anytime soon, but every day on the NixOS Reddit sub I see some posts about core maintainers leaving or that “NixOS is dying”.

What is this all about? I have seen some posts that there are governance problems, and there was this one problem with Eelco and Determinate Systems in general, but I thought all these problems were solved? What is going on now?

I guess it is natural to have drama, that is how things are, but I am honestly sick of seeing this stuff every day.

I have no intention of leaving, but it really does make you think a bit.

I hate to be the person to start yet another thread on this subject, but this discussion seems to have become so convoluted and complex that no one really understands what is going on.

12 Likes

I’m a happy Nix user. It’s a conflicted world we’re living in and Nix is no exception. I’m grateful for this shared resource. Please remember: the vast majority of this community are silent. They don’t rage quit. They don’t do drama posts. They remain silent. And they keep using this incredibly useful, unparalleled in its benefit ecosystem. And even contributing to it, believe it or not. I guess I’m breaking that silence by responding here. Keep it up, everyone. Keep up the good work. Keep up the discussions. Keep up the collaboration. Keep up the business. And keep up your well being.

66 Likes

It is what it is, I made the mistake of participating and losing a day of my time.
My advice is to not read and if doing so, to not participate, even though they feel very important, they are not worth the time in my opinion, no offense to anyone who participated in those threads.
But there is the other side, ignoring the volcano till it bursts, so sadly I personally do have to read and keep track of them.

Edit: Seems like I have much thinking to do about proper online discourse, I will leave this up but I guess I don’t know what I’m talking about.

1 Like

I don’t think they’ve all been “solved”. The ongoing assembly process will hopefully improve these, too. (But I’m not naive enough to believe in a perfect solution.)

I guess I like discussing those problematic topics more than most, but the drama around it typically feels completely pointless and probably quite harmful, too. It’s safer to just avoid reading those topics, I’d say. For example, I’m certain one can enjoy the technical aspects of NixOS.org very well without understanding these discussions or even knowing about them.

So yes, some contributors weren’t able to bear the situation anymore and said they’re leaving, sometimes loudly (or got themselves banned). Sad. And yet, spreading FUD helps noone. If anything, I’d say that the community has been growing too fast in the past decade, faster than our mechanisms necessary to cope with that.

8 Likes

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

4 Likes

Because many posts have been hidden, it’s hard to see what was going. This was the last one.

1 Like

Not solved yet: the assembly is working on the solution. They need few months for that.

For some time, choosing this assembly and discussing that topic was enough to avoid most drama.

But we just got some new, which is now resolved. A summary for that is available in Constitutional Assembly Statement on Jon Ringer

1 Like

To me (as mostly a nobody, just a user and a creator of very tiny PRs), it all seems like we’ve forgotten to first assume the best intent in the other person, to treat everyone as human. Each post that continues the trolling, the sea-lioning, the rage quits, just makes the divide larger and makes it harder to reconcile in the future.

There are people working on this, and I have all confidence that this will get resolved in the long term. It will just be faster if we start treating each other as humans again.

19 Likes

I would agree with you if I had not spent the past several months trying to get this fixed politely and failing, and even trying not being polite about it and failing. It would be a lot easier if it were as simple as people lacking empathy rather than deeper structural issues that those in power don’t want to face head on. The non improvement on these structural issues due to a lack of will (or lack of understanding them) and lack of willingness to let go of power and let someone else do it, as well as the need to gather essentially unlimited consent to do anything because we have unclear constituency such that someone will complain no matter what (and you don’t know who you can just ignore), that is what you’re seeing here.

You’re seeing the effects of five years of governance debt, of what happens when progress like rfc98 gets chased out (by some of the very members of the current assembly, which does not lead to optimism), what happens when process doesn’t get reformed because the people with the power to reform it get stalled in rfc, don’t delegate, or plainly don’t have the legitimacy to get away with improving things. And so people leave.

There will be a distro tomorrow, and next week, and probably next year. It just may have entirely different people working on it after unforced errors and too many second chances. And I’m not sure what’s going to happen to the already overburdened maintainership after most who wanted serious reform to reduce that burden walked out the door. Maybe a true crisis will force the actions we have been pushing for for ages.

But ultimately that’s not my problem because I tried, honestly, harder than I could, and I failed (and my friends receiving death threats is the cherry on top, as backup to stop me shoving my hand in the sausage machine again). So that’s that, I’m not putting more emotional energy into it. Nor are many people I know. I’ll work on a different project where I feel like I can accomplish change.

29 Likes

Thank you for the context. I admit, I only started reading this discourse around a year ago, so I’m missing a lot of stuff.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Do we have proof of this happening? Did @Infinisil corroborate this story?

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

4 Likes

Yes, see:
https://www.reddit.com/r/NixOS/comments/1dsx4du/comment/lb5ak2o/

Please knock it off with the FUD. The idea that two people might, as individuals, resolve a conflict between them is not repugnant. Beyond that, no decision has been reversed, and no official action has been taken since Jon’s suspension—an action that was ultimately taken by the moderation team, not the CA in isolation.

The CA isn’t the correct body to make leadership decisions; it is in the process of creating that body based on feedback from everyone. If you have feedback for them, send it to them via the channels they’ve requested people use.

Let’s just leave it there. Save the pontificating for your social media feeds.

8 Likes

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

“infinisil will have a weekly call with jonringer throughout the next months to welcome his feedback on the NCA’s work.”
This is directly influencing the assembly work, which from my eyes is just overstepping the moderation team consensus of barring Jon Ringer from participating in the assembly process at all.

3 Likes

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Are assembly members supposed to be forbidden from talking to the exiled? A suspension prevents Jon from participating in the community, not from having relationships with anyone still in it. To suggest otherwise would be pretty totalitarian.

If you can’t trust any assembly member who would seek to reconcile with an exile, then there are six others to whom you could voice your concerns about whatever insidious influence you are imagining may take place. Please do that instead of provoking more unproductive conflict here—we have had so much of the latter and I daresay exactly nobody has gotten what they want out of it.

7 Likes

Look, @nyanbinary isn’t calling anybody a nazi, he’s just alluding to the saying “If you let nazis in your bar you chase away the other customers and end up with only nazis coming to your place”.

Given the ultra-tense situation he should have been more careful about phrasing his point.

3 Likes