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Just found out today that they play rather nicely together. Plus there's a direnv package for Emacs too :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
are you using lorri?
I have used lorri before and have settled for simple direnv.
Using a stale version of my shell is rarely what I want. I like it much better to synchronously see when my shell rebuilds. And when I decide I don‘t care to wait for that rebuild I can still "Ctrl+C" it and continue. (While possibly letting the build go throw in a second terminal).
direnv + use_nix works really nicely and doesn‘t need a daemon in the background.
One advantage over lorri is that build errors will jump in your face with direnv. I had multiple occasions where I worked for hours with a stale shell because I didn‘t notice lorri failed to build my shell.
I have seen mentions of lorri but not looked at it yet.