Dropping maintainership of my ports

Eitan Adler lists at eitanadler.com
Wed Apr 27 12:40:49 UTC 2011

If after this thread you still want to drop maintership I'd like the following:
>>> deskutils/teapot
>>> math/ised
>>> security/ccrypt
>>> sysutils/moreutils
>>> sysutils/moreutils-parallel

>> I've been told that we shouldn't be looking for reasons to save any
> unmaintained port,

What you have been told is
"no-one steps up to (a) fix the problem, (b) take maintainership and
(c) _continue_ with maintainership. Well, in that case, the port does
not _deserve_ to live.  After all, no-one cares about it.  If they
did, they'd take care of (a) thru (c) above."

If you are stepping up to do the work that is great and we thank you
for that! We we don't want is people who only volunteer for part (a)
and don't continue with (b) and (c).

This is because the work for fixing these ports falls on the rest of
the community, and mainly the committers if it were to break again or
when making "sweeping" changes to the tree. A large amount of the work
that goes into things like a gmake or autotools upgrade is fixing
individual ports that broke. If people step up to continue to maintain
the now deprecated ports I see nothing wrong with helping them to do
so. If that someone is you - even better!

> and I was specifically told this in response to my
> efforts to identify ports that have a lot of users.

Merely finding "popular" ports does not help. We need people who have
the time and energy to maintain the ports.
I do not want to say that "we are a volunteer project" and as such are
forgiven  however such a model does change how we must do things. We
can not "assign" ports to people, even committers, unless they agree
to do the work.

Furthermore we can use maintainership to judge popularity if
indirectly and imperfectly. If no one steps  up to do the work of all
the port's users it is not that popular.

If you are the one stepping up to do the work I would urge you
continue! However merely pointing at the port and saying "this needs
to be fixed" won't help as someone still has to fix it.

> So I don't think current policy supports the conclusion that "we need to find someone to take them soon."

The policy is one of passiveness and this seems to be the main
difference between the others and the you. Correct me if I am wrong
but you believe that we should be trying as hard as we can to find
somehow or someone to save these ports. Others believe that if someone
wants to they can step up and do the work to save these ports.

On Wed, Apr 27, 2011 at 4:23 AM, Kurt Jaeger <lists at opsec.eu> wrote:
> Then you have misunderstood things.  I don't think anybody would be
> unhappy if you (or anybody else) took maintainership of one or more of
> the currently unmaintained ports.

> There are two things. Becoming a maintainer seems to be really easy.

Becoming a maintainer requires that you commit to do the work to
ensure that a certain program works on FreeBSD. How easy this is
depends on you.

> Having one's PRs committed is a bit more difficult and sometimes
> takes 4-6 weeks (I had a case recently with 155399 and 155400).

There is a lot of work that has to be done in the background even if
no new ports are added. Things like the gmake upgrade and new ports
features take a lot of time.  Furthermore adding a port seems to be a
"trivial" task, however the committers have to (a) fix it up if it is
formatted badly (b) test it in a tinderbox and only then (c) commit
it. This takes more time than just "cvs commit". A lot of work has
been done in recent years to make this process faster and I'm sure
more could be done - but a lot of people don't realize how much work
goes on behind the scenes

Eitan Adler

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