@garbas While yes I do want more contributors / users. I’m not sure that’s the solution for this.
For one, if we have news users -> new contributors, but not process changes, then we have more PRs -> more backlog -> more straining to stay afloat.
More broadly, I really do believe increasing capacity at the tall part of the distribution (via paid employees or productivity improvements for existing core contributors) is qualitatively quite different than increasing the long tail of occasional contributors. And by the standards of other git repos, at least, we already have an excellent long tail.
Also I think that neither server or desktop users is where we are loosing mindshare: I think the “Nix for Ops” story, while it can be improved, is pretty strong at the moment.
Rather, I think it’s “Nix for Developers” that is the weak. There’s a few angles here, but for the purposes of the conversation at hand, I think the issue that Nix doesn’t have enough mindshare among the upstream projects that we’re packaging.
I don’t get the sense that key upstream systemd, gnome, KDE, whatever devs are really aware of us at all, and I think that hampers things. I’m not wishing that they privilage us over other distros—that won’t happen. But I think just having them aware of us could help in a few hard to predict ways. Just taking some guesses:
- Maybe Wayland dev eager for X to die would help us write some new NixOS modules
- Maybe we could help upstream projects do CI, development environments, etc. Upstream dogfooding would have so much amazing effects.
- Maybe things like OSTree and Flatpack could integrate with us better.
All this stuff could help with big issues that a longer tail of contributors are less to be able to chip away at incrementally. Also, if we are lucky and get any “high profile converts”, they are likely likely to both have outside impact and help bring in more users.
One last thing is that despite Red Hat getting it’s money from servers not Desktop, I’d say much of the “Poettering Clique” stuff that has driven most of the change is often quite desktop oriented. So being more in the loop on the desktop side of things is good for being on top of Linux userland issues in general. (Servers may not care about DBus but they do care about init.)