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Re: Becoming the upstream maintainer of a package

On Thu, Apr 22, 2004 at 11:32:19PM -0400, Chris Anderson wrote:
> I'm the current maintainer for xtrlock and it was abandoned upstream
> years ago (1996?). I have an updated package where I rewrote the build
> system since the old one used Imake and some flags that no longer were
> relevant. I fixed a few minor other issues in the source as well.
> Someone mentioned I might as well declare myself upstream since I've
> already rewrote parts of it (build) and because it's a pretty small code
> base. I'm just wondering how I might go about declaring myself its
> upstream maintainer and updating the package accordingly. My assumption
> is that I should note the change in the changelog and upgrade the
> version from 2.0-9 to 2.01.

There's a good description of how to go about "hijacking" a piece of
software in one of Eric S. Raymond's essays -- I think it's "Homesteading
the Noosphere".  Basically, you need to be open and up-front about it, and
attempt to contact the previous authors and such.  For a truly dead,
abandoned project, you can just make a new release -- put up a webpage or SF
project, and start hacking away.

- Matt

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