Nushell 2019 Survey Results

Recently, we ran a short survey to see how you were feeling about Nushell. We wanted to give a very hearty “thank you!” to everyone who participated. These surveys are a great way to gather information about how people are feeling, where they’re happy, and where they feel there are pain points.

In total, 160 people responded. An impressive amount for a project still in its first few months in the public.

Do you use Nu?

63.1% don't use, 24.4% use but stopped, 12.5% use

The survey welcomed both users and non-users of Nu. In our first question, we wanted to see how many folks are using Nu already. Perhaps unsurprising for a project still missing major functionality, most respondents aren’t users, yet. As we’ll see, there are themes around what people are waiting for before they jump in.

But first, let’s take a look at the responses from folks how are currently using Nu.

Nu users

What do you like? (20 responses)

favorite features (tables #1 by a long margin)

Overwhelmingly, Nu users love tables! People currently using Nushell felt that tables and Nu’s structured approach were their favorite features.

People also enjoyed the rich support for different file formats that Nu ships with as well as its focus on being cross-platform.

Other topics mentioned: syntax highlighting, good plugins, shells feature, tags feature, and that it is written in Rust.

Quotes

Where should Nushell improve? (20 responses)

needs work: top ones are autocomplete, shortcuts, tool integration

Nu users also pointed out a few areas where they hoped Nu would improve over time. Top of mind were improvements around auto-completion, improving the keyboard shortcuts, and better integration with existing shells and tools.

There were also a batch of additional improvements people wished for: full scripting support, better examples/documentation, improved stability, interactive table viewing, more commands, smarter table drawing, better coloring, better error messages, aliases, prompt customization, and general performance improvements.

Quotes

Nu non-users

What’s stopping you from using Nu? (100 responses)

blocked adoption: top ones are time and maturity

We also asked for feedback from people not using Nu what their thoughts were. What are the kinds of things that block them from using Nu?

Top of the list are “time” and “maturity”. Many people mentioned that it takes time to learn a new system, and time is a precious resource (don’t we know it!). Maturity also came up for a lot of folks - if it’s not mature yet, the time investment might go to waste. In general, there was a sense of waiting until things are further along before jumping in.

We also heard from many people who were perfectly comfortable in their current shells, whether it be zsh, bash, or fish. For these responders, Nu doesn’t offer a compelling reason to switch, yet.

Quotes

Used Nu but stopped (38 responses)

made me stop: top ones are maturity, time, and don't need it

For those folks who tried Nu, but decided it wasn’t for them, we also gave them a chance to tell us why. Similarly to the previous question, “stability” and “time” were at the top of the list.

Digging in a bit further, it’s not only that Nu itself is changing, but that the package ecosystem hadn’t stayed up-to-date with Nu’s releases, or didn’t yet offer a package. This meant it was easy to not be able to keep up, even if they had time to.

Other topics that came up: needing better autocomplete, needing aliases, better scripting, support for Windows network drives, and improved documentation.

Quotes

Anything else we should know? (68 responses)

so much love

As our final question, we gave responders a chance to give us any last thoughts they felt we should know.

Overwhelming, people sent us love and encouragement. Lots of it. We wanted to take a moment to appreciate everyone who sent us kind notes to keep going, that they loved what we were building and were excited to try it in the future, and how much they loved the concept. Thank you! We’re excited to keep going, and it feels great to hear from people who are enthusiastic about the project.

Quotes

And thank you for responding to our survey!

Conclusions

The astute reader may already see some of the changes we’ve done recently were directly inspired by comments in this survey, and more are planned. This has been a great help, and we’re looking forward to growing Nu with you in the coming months.

As always, feel free to come by our discord, say hi on twitter, or drop us a note in our github.