On 11-11-08 11:22 AM, Neil Bowers wrote:
> To make life easier for the perl modules cabal, how about a voluntary
Nice idea. I like.
I've been mulling about the same problem in my corner, so here are my 2
canadian cents' worth on the topic:
As I see it, there are two aspects to the problem of orphaned modules.
1. Maintainer has retired / is not interested anymore / has been
abducted by aliens / etc.
Basically, that's the common case where no-one is answering the phone
anymore. To solve this, we need some kind of dead man's switch.
The proposed pledge is one way of doing it. In my afore-mentioned
corner, I was thinking of something quite similar where distributions
would be tagged as orphaned after one year of inactivity, where activity
is defined as (a) release a new version or (b) push a "yeah, yeah, I'm
still here and interested" button somewhere. To be successful, such a
scheme should be careful to let maintainers know (in a non-spammy way)
in advance that their time is running out, to prevent nasty surprises,
and it should be easy and pain-free, even for the maintainers with lots
2. Maintainer wants help
The other case is when a maintainer is still around, but either doesn't
want to maintain a distribution anymore, or wouldn't mind a wee bit of
help. There are been more than a few cases where submitting a patch
resulted in the exchange:
maintainer: Thanks! Hey, I don't really use that module
anymore. Want to be the new maintainer?
me: uh, sure.
maintainer: Tag! You're it!
which, mind you, is awesome. But it would be even awesomer to make the
process a little more proactive and help maintainers to get
replacements. IIRC, PAUSE has an 'orphaned' status for modules, so maybe
the solution could be built on that, but made more public.
Maybe the solution to (1) and (2) lies with a site that would be the
flip side of prepan.org
(orPhAN.org ? :-) ), where modules up for
adoption are listed? But Neil brought the crucial point (I think), that
no matter what, the passing of maintainership should never be done
totally automatically, but should always at least get the blessing of
the gardians of mod...@perl.org
or the ex-maintainer herself. Just,
y'know, as human sanity check.
Anyway, I could ramble some more, but I better stop before I put
everyone to sleep.