> The smoother experience is due to Nix using binaries when installing software. Homebrew installs binary packages by default, called bottles.
This is fantastic! I installed nixos a while ago and played around with it a bit, but using nix for everyday tasks is so good. One slight addition to your writeup: I had to do a nix-channel --update before I could install anything.
One great thing about Homebrew: a large community maintaining versions and OS X specific patches. How about that Nix-land?
I ran the example as posted on NixOs 15.09, and it ran and downloaded and compiled a bunch of stuff, but running nix-shell gave me a shell that didn't have a sphinx-quickstart in it. What am I doing wrong?
I was looking into linuxbrew (very close to homebrew) for the openscad build system but it has become unweildy. For example glew depends on systemd, which reports many errors. I am looking into nix and one thing that is completely different about it, that struck me, is that I have been told not to use nix-env -i to "install packages" for doing development, instead i am supposed to just run nix-shell with the appropriate commands, and it will automatically install what I need and cache it for the next time i run nix-shell. This is especially apparent when dealing with boost becaue "nix-env -i boost" does not install headers, and there is no 'boost-dev' package that installs them to a standard spot. However if you run 'nix-shell -p boost' you get them. It is a very interesting and impressive system but very different to most other package managers, so it is taking me a while to wrap my brain around it. Some of the documentation seems a little ambiguous as far as "setting up build environments for developers" . But blog posts like this one help alot. So thank you!