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Re: "virtual" and "real" maintainers

Dirk Eddelbuettel <edd@rosebud.sps.queensu.ca> writes:

> We need to figure out whether the respective maintainer is "real" or
> "virtual". Some of us reply rather quickly, some in short time, but some
> reply almost never, and some have dropped off the project. Just have a look
> at the buglist and wonder for some of the maintainers when you last read an
> email from them.
> The one solution that I can think of now is too draconian, or shall I say
> Orwellian: I can only think of registering when someone posts to a
> debian-* list, and/or uploads a package.
> Does anyone have a better idea? 

I think this isn't necessary.  If there's a bug in the package, or
it's out of date or whatever, report it.  If the bug isn't addressed
soon enough (for whatever reason), send email to the maintainer asking
what their plans are, and perhaps offer (in a civil fashion) to fix
the bug and provide an interim release.

Then, if there's no reply after some (to be determined) period,
release the interim package, and begin considering that the maintainer
may have vanished.  At that point, send them a friendly message that
says that if we don't hear a reply, we're going to assume that they
aren't an active maintainer and consider their packages orphaned.  But
make it clear that they can return to the project anytime they like.

I like the fairly laid back attitude we have now (easy to say when you
have outstanding bugs :>) I don't think there's any reason we really
need to try to maintain a completely correct list of "active"


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