(or TOML or anything else common and easy to use?)
I worked as linux administrator and deployed Ansible for configuration management of our servers (250+). It took me just some hours to learn the language and it was easy and even fun to work with!
Nix-lang, Nix and NixOS on the other side have a very steep learning curve. I use NixOS on all my private servers and all desktops (even at work) for some years now and still don’t feel comfortable using it. Some people gave up trying to install NixOS. https://www.reddit.com/r/NixOS/comments/88z7mp/first_impression_of_the_nixos_installation/
While the NixOS configuration feel more like a programming language then a configuration language and
nix install firefox don’t work, we will never achieve wider adoption and gain more contributors. It should be the most important point on the roadmap to make using it easier, more obvious and help people solve real world problems in an elegant way.
The goal should be to create the best configuration management, package manager, package definition collection, build tool, linux distribution and what Nix can also solve. We have to look what’s great about Ansible, Docker, brew, debian, … and improve in this direction and also make it easy for users to profit from the things Nix does great. We have to hide all the complicated stuff.
It’s all good to work on technical details that Eelco pointed out in his talk, but i would argue that this is even more important for the project in general and it’s users.