Nyxt User Survey 1

With the release of 2.0.0 we have reached a wonderful milestone! So far, Nyxt has been funded by kind patrons and generously provided EU research grants. Looking forwards, we are considering the sustainability of Nyxt. We are asking ourselves: how can we fund ongoing development? How can we make Nyxt even better, more useful?

Nyxt is a community driven project. Therefore, to answer these questions, we would like to consult with all of you :slight_smile:. Below we’ve outlined a draft plan for how to fund Nyxt.

Here are our axioms:

  • Nyxt will always be fully open source
  • Nyxt will not be hindered by its funding model (e.g. no freemium limitations)
  • Nyxt will be available and accessible to all
  • Nyxt will serve and empower its users

based on these premises we’ve come up with the following idea:

  • Sell applications built on top of Nyxt

We will not hinder or limit the core functionality of Nyxt to make our applications more attractive (e.g. no freemium limitations). These applications will be available for free for those who cannot afford them.

Example applications:

  • A feed reader
  • A mail application
  • A documentation browser
  • A complete terminal emulator

I am OK with this idea:

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

I believe a reasonable price for an application is:

  • 5$
  • 10$
  • 15$
  • 20$
  • 30$
  • 50$

0 voters

I would prefer the following application:

  • A feed reader
  • A documentation browser
  • A complete terminal emulator
  • Other (please leave a comment below)

0 voters

Any other thoughts or suggestions, please leave them below! Interested in your thoughts, and thanks for reading!

I would be a very happy user of a Nyxt-based email client (based on mu) or text editor (!).

1 Like

Note-taking app akin to Org Mode or Notion :smiley:

2 Likes

Giving that in Emacs we mostly have all the above already. I’ll vote for a very, very user-friendly (Geary like user-friendly) email client. I havent figured how to use the GNU mail with yahoo as of yet :confused:
I’d definitely pay a big 20$ for that :wink:

So Nyxt will eventually become a sort of Emacs 2.0 ?

2 Likes

To follow up on Artyom suggestion, I’d really love to see some subset of org-mode implemented in Nyxt (especially org-agenda).

Eventually yes, Emacs 2.0 :smiley:

3 Likes

An easy-to-use, universal Git interface. More specifically, a Git interface that would be as easy to use as, say, Dropbox.

1 Like

Agreed, I’m in dear need for a good, easy-to-use (and set up!) email client.

2 Likes

My vote for other app would be a mobile (Android) version that would still allow us to use our own commands, etc.

1 Like

I voted for the feed reader and documentation browser, since I have no interest in depending on my browser for my terminal or my emails (I love the flexibility terminal emulators provide, they can be changed and what they are used for still works, also I already use a TUI email client and am not willing to change), but I do think many users could be interested in an email client. I think there’s a gap to fill for email clients supporting encryption and making it user-friendly, so far I think only Mailpile does that. This is an open source webclient by the way, so maybe there could be room for collaboration with Bjarni, the main dev, to facilitate integration with Nyxt (Mailpile is not written in Common Lisp though).

Note that the last poll question does not offer to vote for the email client, even though it was mentioned in the post.

In general, I admit I am not a big fan of software that try to build ecosystems around themselves and therefore create interdependence for each resulting piece of software and use, which also goes a little against the general UNIX way, but I do fully understand the need to make revenue and sustain Nyxt over the long term, which is also very important because we have a good browser that is very unlike every other browser, and we’d better make everything we can to keep it alive. I am also totally OK with the premises you mentioned and they are reassuring, I hope they will always stay unchanged and not divert too much work force from main Nyxt development.

3 Likes

That’s a good idea too! However please don’t make it Android-dependent. Something that could be manually compiled on other OSes for the bravehearted (and still compiled for Android and offered as a package on F-Droid of course) would be great. Nyxt is kinda niche and it would be good to keep users of niche OSes in the loop. This might be an unsolvable dependency mess though, and also a lot of work to make it easy to use on touch-only + small screen devices.

Summary

I use SailfishOS on my phone, which has its flaws but admittedly feels (is) more like a Linux distribution than Android, BUT I can already use Nyxt on it because it has a builtin hardware keyboard and I permanently run a Debian LXC container as an application within SailfishOS, so I’m a happy mobile Nyxt user already!

2021-06-10-180917 GIF by kabouik | Gfycat

3 Likes

That’s so cool! Seeing it pop up on the phone! Wow!!! :smiley:

4 Likes

What device is that? I want it!! :slight_smile:

2 Likes

While personally I think it’s completely reasonable for Atlas/the Nyxt team to want to increase the sustainability of the project, I’m not sure I think that this is the best way to go about it. Let’s be honest here, Nyxt’s primary user base is going to be lisp hackers; at best, it can compete with the ecosystem of other webkit browsers, but even then, that’s a pretty small market to try to compete in and I’m not sure how many people within Nyxt’s audience are going to be people who would pay for something they could either figure out how to make themselves, or figure out how to install a free alternative. I don’t doubt that there are people who will want to support the development of Nyxt, but it just doesn’t seem like a very viable business strategy.

If the goal is just to bring in a bit of extra money for the development of Nyxt, then maybe this is outside the concerns of the team, but if I were going to try to fund a project like this while still keeping with the free software ideals of the project, I would try to copy Brave Browser’s strategy. I know some people (very justifiably) hate cryptocurrencies and I’m all there with the criticisms of it re: things like the environment, but I think there are ways of doing it that wouldn’t be so harmful.

These are just the very long-winded two cents of some random person on the forums who is very personally invested in the future of the project but hasn’t (yet) contributed any code or been involved at all, so make of it what you will. I would gladly discuss it further with the Nyxt team if anyone involved is interested in discussing other potential strategies for making the project more sustainable.

2 Likes

I chose OTHER because I can find good alternatives for feed readers, mail, document browser, and terminal emulators (?). Not sure about this last one.

What I miss the most in Nyxt is another application: a time tracker, something like Rescue Time. I would be willing to pay for that the same I used to pay for Rescue Time.

Rescue Time Premium costs 12 USD per month. I do not pay this anymore because I am broke haha. I paid 7 USD per month with a coupon/promotion.

Actually, considering that I am a heavy user of RescueTime since late 2013 (most of the time I used the free version), I should mention a few things:

  • RescueTime has publicly admitted having a hard time supporting Linux distros. This is an opportunity for Nyxt! We could be stronger where they are weak. I had problems with that and I use Ubuntu (the most popular one). I can share some emails with their support.

  • Rescue Time was funded by YCombinator back in the late 2000s and they still exist today after an exit which shows financial sustainability;

  • They make money (mainly) because of a premium feature called Focus Time which blocks all sites defined as “distractive”. They also ask for money if you want access to data in a broader range (more than 3 months)

  • The problems related to productivity, distractions, and procrastination only get stronger. Many platforms, games, and sites are engineered to be addictive (with statisticians, psychologists, and engineers working along to design addictiveness).

Finally, I should mention that I am using a FOSS alternative to RescueTime called Activity Watch.

Unfortunately, they do not have features as “Stay Focused” (to block distractions for a specified time) and they are not getting data from Nyxt because there is not an extension for Nyxt.

In addition, ActivityWatch has architectural limitation since it works with Chrome and Firefox using browser APIs.

Maybe, building something inside Nyxt with all its power there would be no need for browser APIs and it would be possible to create more powerful features.

1 Like

On the question of what applications I might like, I’d like to mention a feed reader (voted), and a mail application (voted as "other). AFAIK, there’s a severe paucity of decent GUI-based email applications in linux that can handle HTML emails, support a conversation view, and are also very keyboard/throughput friendly. Integration with notmuch as a standardized backend which supports tagging and fast-search would be ideal (because that solves for you everything complementary to the actual mail interface, and also comforts users by making it very easy to get mails into and out of this system).

Also, I have previously shared some thoughts regarding how I would eventually like my browser to integrate with my information workflows, so I am definitely interested in applications in that direction, BUT, a few more general thoughts…


  1. Most applications that are not clearly boxed in scope are likely to require at least as much development effort as Nyxt itself, so realistically it wouldn’t make sense to pursue those as a means of enabling Nyxt development, especially while you are strapped for resources (time, effort, etc.).

  2. Coming to the numbers, realistically, the user base for Nyxt is likely to remain niche in the near future, so I doubt whether one-time payments are going to help raise significant funds (say 10k-100k USD/EUR). Have you crunched numbers (accounting for realistic SaaS conversion rates?

PS: FWIW, Sublime Text seems to have found an interesting model where a large number of users are happy to pay (but even there, the percentage might not be large).

  1. Further (I presume the apps will be open source, since Nyxt power users would definitely love to scratch itches and share improvements) and having a model where key apps are “paid” might create a weird atmosphere discouraging people from making substantial contributions to the app since someone else would be getting paid.

I understand that trying to figure out a healthy funding situation is very important, so it is very positive to see the question being raised early – before the developers or the project are pushed to adverse situations.

Just wanted to share my two cents; you are well within your rights to disagree :slight_smile: It might be very helpful to use the community as a soundboard to help figure out a sustainable model. There might even be be folks with SaaS business expertise who might help you with numbers/models. You might also find it worthwhile to reach out to Drew Devault, who operates SourceHut.

:heart: Thanks again for Nyxt; the 2.0 release holds a lot of promise and I’ve been giving it another shot to see if I can figure out a workflow for myself

2 Likes

i tend to hesitate with mini-apps being tied to a particular platform/“mother app” as i have always jived with the simplicity of the Unix philosophy and the beauty of its composibility. however there can be exceptions and Nyxt is a very cool :slight_smile:

if the long range intention is truly to create an Emacs 2.0 then an email client and feed reader (and the ability to read the feeds within the email client) would be great IMHO. otherwise having my web browser become the new platform for everything feels a little too complicated.

either way i very much appreciate the work, the articles, the discussion, and Nyxt.

5 Likes

1+ for e-mail client

I’m starting to think an email client makes a lot of sense then… I will ponder it. I’m not sure how we would design it!