Policy for non-responsive maintainers

Bernie Innocenti bernie at sugarlabs.org
Wed Oct 31 13:16:24 EDT 2012


On Wed, 2012-10-31 at 01:06 -0300, Gonzalo Odiard wrote:
> Hi Bernie,
> I think we should discuss this proposal openly on sugar-devel,
> and while I agree in the need of have a Non Responsive Maintainer
> Policy, I don't agree with part of this proposal.

Ok, copying the Fedora policy was just a way to start the discussion. I
don't mind if our policy ends up being substantially different.

What's important is stating clearly what a volunteer is supposed to do
if they want to take over an unmaintained activity. For what is worth,
the procedure could be as simple as "ask Gary and Gonzalo on IRC".

Discussing on sugar-devel@ is good, but make sure that the thread
eventually converges to a decision (which is probably up to you and

> From my experience, we have two situations clearly separated,
> most of the orphaned activities have been orphan for a long time, in
> cases, years. 
> Other case is a activity with a temporary busy maintainer,
> like Aleksey now, busy with SugarNetwork stuff.
> The first case is not a problem, any policy will be ok,
> I am more worried about the second case, were 2 or 3 weeks is a short
> time.
> With the actual situation, if who request maintainership is not a
> actual maintainer,
> I think should be good if some member in the community help him at
> least a time, in fact, Walter, Gary and me have rescued a lot of
> activities.

Nice. Why don't you go ahead and update the wiki page I wrote to reflect
the current practice and then ask for comments on sugar-devel@ ?

> In a ideal world, co-maintainers should be a solution to this problem,
> and we should encourage more co-maintainership. 

Hmm... Not sure about that. My experience when there are multiple owners
is that nobody feels it's their duty to respond to bug reports, etc.
Sometimes there's only one active owner and all the others are just
emeritus maintainers. Multiple committers is great, but I suggest
personal accountability for each activity. Labeling code as unmaintained
is far better for users than creating false expectations with multiple
co-maintainers who don't actually have time to support the code.

> In the real world, we are few developers. 
> May be the involvement of more young hackers, helps.
> What can we do to help this kids? 
> If you ask me, I would spent some money to organize some 
> summer young hackaton in Uruguay to start. (I know is off topic, but
> is something to think about)
Very nice idea. If you could organize the event, I'd be interested in
helping with fundraising for the travel expenses.

> On Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 7:48 PM, Bernie Innocenti
> <bernie at sugarlabs.org> wrote:
>         Gary, this is the result of a conversation on #sugar regarding
>         having a
>         clear procedure for people who would like to take over
>         orphaned
>         activities.
>         The current proposal is inspired from the Fedora policy, just
>         shortened
>         to 2 weeks as per Walter's request. If it still looks too
>         laborious, we
>         can cut it down a bit further. Or feel free to forward to
>         sugar-devel@
>         if you wish to discuss it with everyone.
>         On Fri, 2012-10-26 at 15:31 -0700, Bernie Innocenti wrote:
>         > As discussed today on IRC:
>         >
>         >
>         http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Activity_Team/Policy_for_nonresponsive_maintainers
>         >
>         > How does it look?
>         --
>         Bernie Innocenti
>         Sugar Labs Infrastructure Team
>         http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Infrastructure_Team

Bernie Innocenti
Sugar Labs Infrastructure Team

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