New port with maintainer [was: Question about maintainers]

Roman Neuhauser neuhauser at
Thu Jul 28 22:56:53 GMT 2005

# linimon at / 2005-07-28 12:51:42 -0500:
> On Thu, Jul 28, 2005 at 07:22:49PM +0200, Roman Neuhauser wrote:
> > I am a member of the mythical "users" group, and I don't mind fixing
> > whatever breakage I stumble upon as I go.
> And many users are in that same situation and that's fine; but many
> others are either unwilling or lack the skills to do so.  See the GNATS
> DB for many examples.  If things don't work for them, they're stuck.
> > Would it be better if there were 9611 ports instead?
> If they all worked -- yes!

    Then we have a conflict (which is no problem), as I prefer something
    I can "tweak" to something I need to build from nothing.
> > How about "maintained" ports where the maintainers don't take proper
> > care of their ports?
> That's why we have that policy (there's that word again) that maintainers
> who don't maintain their ports after 3 months can have their ports
> reassigned.

    So, where do we end? With MAINTAINER=ports at ports.
    Where's the difference?

> > I just don't see how no "designated maintainer" makes a port worse
> > than port "maintained" by someone who refutes quite a bit of PRs
> > with "I don't know, I only use minor part of the software, and
> > that's all I can keep running".
> At least someone is looking after it in the latter case; there is
> someone the users can ask questions of, even if the answer is "I don't
> know".  It is not an ideal situation, but it is a better situation
> than having noone.
    "looking after it"? There's someone who hasn't reacted to PRs for
    at least several months, someone "the users" (emphasis added) can
    ask questions of in vain, even if the answer always is (two months
    later) "maintainer timeout".

> > FMPOV the situation is "mostly working" vs none.
> Most users don't expect "mostly working".  They look at this list,
> see that they can install something from it, and then get aggravated
> when they find out they've wasted their time trying to use it.

    I have written several different responses to this paragraph,
    and deleted them all. Let me ask a question instead: can you
    show me some hard facts about those mysterious "most users"?
    You know, I'd really like to see a proof that most of the FreeBSD
    users are what you call them: *users* (emphasis added to point out
    the derogative). And if you do manage to prove that most users
    of FreeBSD are what you imply: people who cant read a simple
    Makefile to find out the dependencies for example, peeple who
    can't fix a simple problem in a port Makefile they wanted to use,
    then I'll concede it's time to look elsewhere.
> Again, I don't see how the idea that some maintainers don't maintain
> their ports means that we should not bother to try to get ports assigned
> to responsible people who will actively maintain them.

    The part from "we should" on isn't what you have been advocating
    in this (sub)thread. I applaud to your effort to find qualified,
    responsible maintainer for every port. What I don't find appealing
    at all is what you advertised effor leads to in practice. I have
    already been bitten by the (very politely formulated) "either accept
    the ball bound to your foot or sod off" policy, I have already had
    my name written over code I heartily disagreed with (because I ended
    up as a committer-by-force on a port I send a patch for, and what
    was committed was quite a bit different from what I would even
    *consider* if it was my tree; cool, isn't it, having your name
    slapped on a lame code written by someone else, huh?), and I'm just
    a bit afraid I'm not going to let a "comittee" hold me hostage to
    my patches.

    Yes, this email is bitter. I've had quite a few bitter moments over
    my contributions to FreeBSD. They (the contributions) have been
    minor, and, what do I know, maybe you wouldn't mind losing 150
    patches commited within a month, but there might be no more:
    I just won't bother, because I'll be a *user*. I won't contribute
    because that's the professionals' job, instead I'll be your mythical
    user.  I won't lose any more of my time on any of
    I'll wait for someone who can commit their life to the software to
    fix every little problem for me.

How many Vietnam vets does it take to screw in a light bulb?
You don't know, man.  You don't KNOW.
Cause you weren't THERE.   

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