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    That Usability study really accurately captures my experience on Nix as a n00b:

    10 sessions with (absolute or relative) Nix beginners of different software development backgrounds quickly produced some observations:

    • People love control and reproducibility.
    • Developers just want to get things done and do not care how it works.
    • Engineers usually care most about one specific programming language or framework.
    • People do not read, only skim.
    • nixos.org navigation often does not meet user needs.
    • Information about the Nix ecosystem is perceived as being highly dispersed and disorganized. Confusion and disorientation quickly kicks in and often results in “tab explosion”.
    • The learning curve is perceived as extremely steep.
    • The Nix language is easy for Haskell users, and obscure to almost everyone else without appropriate instructions.

    The links on doc writing are really good too:

    How Learning Works

    Practical advice on effective teaching and learning, backed by broad and deep evidence. The best-written and probably most important book I have ever read.


    A framework for structuring software documentation around user needs.

    Plain language guidelines

    A set of guidelines to write clearly in English.

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      Ditto. It’s weird how it keeps happening, but basically every time I have to do something new in Nix the right incantation takes a crapton of time to find, but once it’s there it’s really simple to read. I wonder if there’s a big difference between how Nix maintainers and other programmers think?