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    tag suggestion: nix meta nix

I would like to propose a new tag nix that covers the package manager as well as the distribution NixOS. Lately we have had a steady stream of popular articles about nix. These were tagged with linux or the even broader unix tag. To be able to filter them out, it would be nice to have that tag.

Recent stories that are about nix:

These are just from the last 10 days. It is clear that there is an interest in nix. lobste.rs has tags for things that barely get used (like elm or dragonflybsd), so I think we have passed the threshold for adding a new tag for nix


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    I support this. There’s a Nix post on the front page almost every day at this point and it seems to make sense.

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      People who love nix: “we want a tag to find more nix content!”

      People who hate nix: “we want a tag so we can filter out nix content!”

      Mods: net opinion regarding a nix tag is zero, no action.


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        To be fair, the only time you wouldn’t want a tag on [subject] is if most people don’t have strong opinions one way or another on [subject].

        And people who don’t have strong feelings about [subject] generally won’t bother to comment about [subject], and therefore are hard to measure.

        Mods might yet be right. We’d need better statistical analysis to know for sure.

        FWIW I don’t have any strong feelings about Nix and I don’t care whether it’s added or not, but I’m not against a nix tag if other people want it. This is my first comment on the subject of adding a nix tag.

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          I support it, but then I like tagging everything.

          I’m mildly curious about nix but don’t have time to give it a proper try.

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        This would be a gift to those of us who don’t care about nix and would like to filter the tag.

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          that is actually why I propose it :-)

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            This would be my reason for voting on this tag proposal. I don’t like stories about nix / related and would love to filter them.

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              +1 Nix articles hit the top really quickly so even if you’re not interested in Nix it’s always at the top. I’d love to filter these posts out.

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                Question for the mods, given that there were several other submissions for this tag, and all had quite a lot of interest: what should have we done better? What was/is missing to get this tag? Should more people vote? Should the proposal include something more? Please help us learn :)

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                    Tvix and Guix in the same tag?

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                      Linux gets tagged unix despite technically not being one, so I guess it is close enough for anyone to care.

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                        sure, we can call it “nix-family” or something I guess

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                          Maybe too cute: nix-ish

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                            Maybe nix-y?

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                                ix is *nix-y but not nix-y. IMO “nix” was a poor choice of name that was bound to cause confusion eventually.

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                            In that case why not make it more general and call it e.g. “package-management”? That would encompass not only nix, but also guix, tvix, dpkg, yum, portage, chocolatey etc.

                            It’s a lot more broad than just “nix”, but so are most of the other tags on Lobsters, with the exception being programming language tags. Maybe it could be combined with a new tag “operating-system” for NixOS/GuixSD.

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                              I think that nix is so different that it should not be lumped together with other package managers

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                                I agree. While nix is technically a package manager, it has a vastly different approach to it. I’d go ahead and call the tag nix and post nix and nix-related things under it, and only if and when the GUIX people consistently take over that tag, at that point we can consider creating a tag for them too, but not before. because premature optimisation is the root of all evil.

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                                Every time a nix tag gets suggested, consensus seems to fizzle out as we discuss what the best name for an inclusive tag would be.

                                At this point, I’m willing to stick with nix and not let perfect be the enemy of the good. We should have had a nix tag years ago!

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                              I don’t see many Guix stories so it should be a non-issue.

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                              lobste.rs has tags for things that barely get used (like elm or dragonflybsd

                              Woah, shots fired! :P

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                                In my opinion, reproducible-builds would be a more generally applicable & useful tag. Enabling reproducible builds is the main attribute of interest that Nix/Guix/Tvix have in common. “Nix” just happens to just be the frontrunner, and need not be the namesake. repro-builds could be used instead if something shorter is desired.

                                However, after reading the comments, I agree that nix is the most mature suggestion. Perhaps the tag can be updated down the line if it turns out Nix isn’t the only “Nix-like” sparking discussion here on Lobste.rs.

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                                  the term “reproducible builds” means different things to different people almost to the point that it’s completely devoid of usefulness.

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                                    For as long as I’ve been involved in NixOS I thought that we were avoiding the term “reproducible-builds” and using “deterministic-builds” to avoid making the vague promises that come with “reproducibility”.

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                                      Ah, thanks for the clarification!

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                                    Sidebar: It’s true these share other traits, such as a declarative configuration language. However, these are just common solutions to the same problem. Another system using a different method would also belong in this category.

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                                      While I understand your approach, I want to suggest something more fundamental which they have in common, but which e.g. reproducible Debian does not: Nix and friends treat package references as capabilities, so that we get a sort of “package-capability” system. Just like how object-capability systems prevent certain kinds of unauthorized behavior at a structural level, Nix prevents certain kinds of hygiene problems in upstream packages from becoming security issues for downstream deployments.

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                                      I’ve added this tag, but not yet backfilled it on existing stories. I left a longer comment on the other thread with some more info.

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                                        Thank you!

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                                        This was already suggested here: https://lobste.rs/s/26bnoc/please_add_nix_tag

                                        There’s a bunch of other tags that the community seems to want but that haven’t been created (yet): https://lobste.rs/s/uc5t4w/all_tag_suggestions_with_more_than_20

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                                          I know, but I was told here https://lobste.rs/s/ypwgwp/tvix_we_are_rewriting_nix#c_cwjels to start a new posting

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                                          Throwing in my vote to add the tag.

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                                            More users here are embracing Nix for their projects, so it only makes sense. Tag it up! (and yes probably include Tvix/Guix into it as well)

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                                              yes please, but please keep around the dragonflybsd tag, remember hope dies last!

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                                                +1 for nix-family or just nix

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                                                  If a tag is created to include guix don’t call it nix. Just call it risotto or something because it’s just rice 90% of the time.

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                                                    Fully support!

                                                    Maybe config-as-an-os to capture Guix, Tvix, etc.? Probably too long for a tag, though. pkg-mgmt maybe, because I think that’s a sufficiently interesting topic on its own that includes these, plus package managers that aren’t essentially OS foundations or the science of package management itself (dependency resolution, retrieval, etc.). PackagingCon reminded me how many different aspects there are to the area.

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                                                      I used to agree, but bikeshedding the tag name disperses the energy and we end up with no tag at all, and another meta thread in 6 months.

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                                                        “declarative operations”… think that’s way too general