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Clarifying nixpkgs-dev for GitHub reviewers

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Hey Team,

There has been confusion by some reviewers on GitHub who are having
trouble understanding why I'm submitting PRs on behalf of other people
on this list.

One thing that this interaction[1] made me think about was having a
dedicated website that describes what the nixpkgs-dev mailing list is
all about. Perhaps we could grab nixpkgs-ml.org, or maybe throw
something up on the nixos wiki somewhere.

Right now all we can link to is the mailing list, but this is a bit
confusing to new people trying to understand what the mailing list all
about.

This place is unofficial but it would be neat if we could eventually
make it somewhat more official. The closest "official" thing we had was
patches submitted to the discourse[2], but discourse mangles patches
which isn't ideal. 

If we had a nice page explaining our project goals and tooling, we could
eventually push for something more official by starting a discussion on
the nixos discourse.

I'm open to other ideas on how to move forward to reduce conflict
like[1] in the future.

Cheers,
Will

[1] https://github.com/NixOS/nixpkgs/pull/120770#issuecomment-827713709
[2] https://discourse.nixos.org/c/inbox
Andreas Rammhold
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Hi,

> On 27. Apr 2021, at 19:05, William Casarin <jb55@jb55.com> wrote:
> 
> Hey Team,
> 
> There has been confusion by some reviewers on GitHub who are having
> trouble understanding why I'm submitting PRs on behalf of other people
> on this list.
> 
> One thing that this interaction[1] made me think about was having a
> dedicated website that describes what the nixpkgs-dev mailing list is
> all about. Perhaps we could grab nixpkgs-ml.org, or maybe throw
> something up on the nixos wiki somewhere.

The wiki might be a good initial place to document that. We need more documentation on the topic.

If we ever have the need for a dedicated website (and list server) I can sponsor the `nixos.dev` domain for that.

Unfortunately I really lack time & motivation to do more work on the community right now.


Thanks for keeping this alive!


andi-
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On Tue, Apr 27, 2021 at 07:09:20PM +0200, Andreas Rammhold wrote:
>Hi,
>
>> On 27. Apr 2021, at 19:05, William Casarin <jb55@jb55.com> wrote:
>>
>> Hey Team,
>>
>> There has been confusion by some reviewers on GitHub who are having
>> trouble understanding why I'm submitting PRs on behalf of other people
>> on this list.
>>
>> One thing that this interaction[1] made me think about was having a
>> dedicated website that describes what the nixpkgs-dev mailing list is
>> all about. Perhaps we could grab nixpkgs-ml.org, or maybe throw
>> something up on the nixos wiki somewhere.
>
>The wiki might be a good initial place to document that. We need more documentation on the topic.
>
>If we ever have the need for a dedicated website (and list server) I can sponsor the `nixos.dev` domain for that.

Sounds good. Let's think about using a domain like that once we have
more support from nixos people. I wouldn't want to make it seem we are
more official than we are, especially if the nixpkgs folks have issues
with the way we are doing things.

>Unfortunately I really lack time & motivation to do more work on the community right now.

No problem at all, we all are volunteering our free time here. There are
no expectations from anyone.

>Thanks for keeping this alive!

Thanks for getting it started :)

Cheers,
Will
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> The wiki might be a good initial place to document that. We need more
> documentation on the topic.

Seems nixos.wiki is very outdated. Still has a link to the old nix-dev
mailing list:

https://nixos.wiki/wiki/Nixpkgs/Update_a_package#Sending_a_pull_request_to_the_official_nixpkgs_repository

How about a quick page on sourcehut: https://man.sr.ht/man.sr.ht/

I would write something like this:

    # What is nixpkgs-dev
    
    This is a mailing list where developers can contribute to nixpkgs
    without needing to go through GitHub, or requiring a GitHub account.
    
    # How does this work
    
    Submit a patch to nixpkgs using `git send-email`, see git-send-email.io
    for instructions.
    
    Reviews are handled through regular email replies. Once patches are
    accepted on the mailing list, a maintainer will open a PR on GitHub on
    behalf of the original author.
    
    # Why?
    
    Sending patches over email has some advantages over web-based
    submissions like GitHub:
    
    - works with many different email clients and tools
    - doesn't require lots of bandwidth, or any persistent connection
    - allows for PGP signing of messages (you can't sign GitHub comments)
    - more open tooling
    - doesn't rely on any central authority
    
    And besides, not everyone uses GitHub, or likes to use GitHub. This
    mailing list is a alternative for those cases.
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Hi,


Am 27. April 2021 19:05:34 MESZ schrieb William Casarin <jb55@jb55.com>:
> maybe throw something up on the nixos wiki somewhere.
>

I'm voting for the wiki here because it is already there, semi established and a low hanging fruit. I have an account and could set up a page tomorrow, if you want me to!

Until then,
Good night! :-)
Matthias
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On 27-04-2021 15:34:07, Ben Sima wrote:
> Still has a link to the old nix-dev mailing list:
> https://nixos.wiki/wiki/Nixpkgs/Update_a_package#Sending_a_pull_request_to_the_official_nixpkgs_repository

I just removed that link.
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On 27-04-2021 15:34:07, Ben Sima wrote:
> I would write something like this: [...]

Submitted to the wiki here:
https://nixos.wiki/wiki/Nixpkgs-dev-ml

And linked from here:
https://nixos.wiki/wiki/Nix_Community
(at the very bottom)

Matthias
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