Nadav Spiegelman

The Curse of NixOS

https://blog.wesleyac.com/posts/the-curse-of-nixos
Author
blog.wesleyac.com
My last highlight
2023-11-21
Number of highlights
1

My Highlights

The first is relatively simple: they developed their own programming language to do configuration, which is not very good and is extremely difficult to learn. The vast majority of people using NixOS do not understand the language, and simply copy/paste example configurations, which mostly works until you need to do something complicated, at which point you're completely high and dry. There seem to be a handful of people with a deep understanding of the language who do most of the infrastructural work, and then a long tail of people with no clue what's going on. This is exacerbated by poor documentation — there are docs for learning Nix as a language, and docs for using NixOS, but the connection between those two things is essentially undocumented. One of the things that's theoretically nice about having everything defined in the Nix language is that it's easily understandable once you learn Nix. Unfortunately, Nix is difficult enough to learn that I couldn't tell you if this is true or not. Nix needs more docs explaining deeply how practical applications of the Nix language actually work. It could also do with less ugly syntax, but I think that ship has sailed.