I agree that packages shouldn't be removed or moved because they have no
active developer maintaining them - that is going to take the value of
portage down quite a lot. Outdated packages do too, but not in quite the
same way.

I like the idea of a list or mailing list of developers willing to help
update unmaintained packages, and if community submitted ebuilds were
encouraged a bit more, the job would be pretty simple. Most of the times
i've done version bumps myself have just involved changing the name and
fixing up patches. I definitely like the idea of encouraging proxy
maintainers, as I said before. Becoming a full developer is (from what i've
seen externally) quite difficult and requires a lot of dedicated time, but
the user community is much larger - and 100 people doing one ebuild each is
going to work better than one person doing 100 ebuilds.

As another interesting idea for encouraging proxy maintainence, once an
easier/more developed system exists for that (such as the mailing list
mentioned before), perhaps a notice should be added to unmaintained ebuilds
mentioning that it has no active maintainer, to warn users that a newer
version may be available (in which case they can file a bug, etc) and
encourage those with the time and skills to take up some of the work on
those ebuilds. I would be very willing to work on some ebuilds if it didn't
involve chasing a trail of vaguely relevant developers down until one pays
attention. :P

I would think that masking them due to a lack of maintainence should be used
only as a last resort - if a package is blocking other updates or is
extremely out of date (unsupported by upstream / everything else). But in
those situations, deleting might be a better idea anyway, because what
purpose does it really serve?

- John Brooks

On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 5:35 PM, Joe Peterson <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> Jeremy Olexa wrote:
> > Also, devs willing to maintain
> > packages but then later retiring and leaving the packages in limbo.
> > Maybe there should be some policy such as, when devs retire if no one
> > else steps up to maintain the package, then it automatically gets
> > moved to sunrise overlay and only maintained packages stay in the
> > portage tree.
> My opinion is that packages should not be removed from the tree just
> because
> there is no assigned maintainer.  Even moving a package to sunrise
> effectively
> makes it invisible to many users, and a great strength of Gentoo is that it
> has such a variety of packages in the tree.
> I do see that there are potential problems with unmaintained packages, so
> it
> is a good goal to try to solve that.  Perhaps developers who have the time
> and
> choose to make themselves available to do simple version bumps on
> unmaintained
> packages could put themselves on a mailing list to receive such bug
> reports.
> Encouraging users to be proxy maintainers is a great idea too (as others
> have
> suggested).  As a last resort, otherwise working packages could be masked
> as
> "unmaintained", which is probably better than total removal (after all,
> they
> could still be useful to some users.
>                                                -Joe

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