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Re: Attempted summary and thoughts

>Russ Allbery wrote:
>So, here's a possibly weird proposal.
>What if we had some mechanism whereby people could indicate interest in
>maintaining a package should anything happen to the current maintainer?
>Have it be as non-confrontational as possible by having it not indicate
>any feeling about whether the package is currently maintained well, 
>just a willingness to help should the current maintainer be unable to 
>continue for some reason.

I like it.  I doubt it will work for one of the reasons below, but I 
like it.

>Then, should the package run into any trouble, we'd know whether anyone
>else is actually already in a position to potentially take it over, or
>whether there really isn't anyone who feels like they could do so.
>Problems that I see with this right away are:
> * The data could easily get stale.  I may be willing to help with a
>   package right now, but a year from now when it has problems, I may no
>   longer be in that position.  I'm not sure if some sort of periodic ping
>   of "you said you'd be willing to take on all of these; reply if that's
>   not still true" would cut it.

Yep, this is the problem I anticipated too.

> * My guess is that if we put this system in place, we'll immediately
>   discover that most of our core packages have no backup ready and
>   available.  But that may be useful information anyway.

I'd be willing to take over ifupdown (though I'd hope for 
comaintainers), or doc-debian or lilo (which I could handle by 
myself).  But not all at the same time.  :-)  I'd also maintain lynx or 
gcc in a pinch though I'd want comaintainers and might not be able to 
keep it up for very long solo.

>For example, I (and probably various other people) would register my
>willingness to take over autoconf should Ben ever no longer be in a
>position to maintain it.  That doesn't mean that he's doing a bad job
>(he's doing a *great* job so far as I can tell); it's just a note that
>should anything catastrophic happen to him, people don't have to 
>scramble to look for a replacement maintainer for that package.

You know, this is a really clever proposal, even if you think it's 
"weird".  :-)

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