Maintainer ping?

Christopher Faylor
Mon Feb 4 15:56:00 GMT 2013

On Mon, Feb 04, 2013 at 03:18:52AM -0600, Yaakov wrote:
>On Sun, 3 Feb 2013 17:53:55 -0500, Christopher Faylor wrote:
>> >On 2013-02-03 18:58, Christopher Faylor wrote:
>> >>Given the problems that we seem to have with maintainers going absent
>> >>would it make sense to send out a periodic ping every M days to all
>> >>maintainers?  Then if we didn't receive an answer within N pings the
>> >>package could be marked orphaned automatically.
>> As a refinement, we could also add something which detects when a person
>> had been active in one of the cygwin lists and defers sending the ping.
>Definitely; there's no sense in asking the obvious.
>But I am unsure about how to best implement this, given a previous
>package maintainer's comments last year[1].  In short, he maintained a
>single, obscure package, which still worked (so no bug reports on
>Cygwin or other deps), upstream was dead (so no RFUs), and nobody has
>written about it to the list (so nothing to respond to).  When finally
>pinged, he was still there, but how often would someone like that need
>to be pinged?  I can just imagine the conversation:
>>> Are you still with us?
>> Yep.
>[two months pass]
>>> Are you still with us?
>> Yep.
>[two more months]
>>> Are you still with us?
>> Yes, I'm still here.
>[and again]
>>> Are you still with us?
>> YES, I'm *still* here.
>[and another time]
>>> Are you still with us?
>[once again]
>>> Are you still with us?
>>> Are you still with us?
>>> Hello?  Hello?  Anybody home?
>>> I guess not.
>So for someone like that, regular pinging may just be
>counterproductive.  OTOH, with those who maintain a lot of packages, or
>extremely important packages, there's much more cause for concern over
>an extended absence, causing delays for the project as a whole when they
>don't respond when needed.
>So while a good idea, I would suggest using some common sense in its

You're saying that one email every two months is annoying?  I don't see
it.  Obviously the ping would contain information about why it is being
done so it shouldn't be excessively annoying.  But, if it is, and in
the above scenario, the maintainer of an obscure, barely used package
becomes annoyed then, if they leave in disgust over having to hit
"r"eply every two months, I don't think it's cause for undue concern.


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