Ada and GNAT maintainership proposition

Natasha Kerensikova natbsd at
Wed May 10 11:43:55 UTC 2017


I'm an insignificant FreeBSD user and Ada developer, and over the years
I've come to rely a lot of both technologies together. I'm very worried
now that I discovered that Ada-related ports no longer have a maintainer.
Having thought a lot about it in the past day, I don't have a workable
exit strategy for either technology, and I don't want to need one.

So the whole point of this e-mail is, what happens now?

As far as I can tell, if nobody steps up to take over the
maintainership, the ports will eventually be considered dead and be
removed. I think I saw ports stay maintainerless for a long while before
being dropped, but here we have a lively compiler and a moving standard,
so it's likely things will break sooner rather than later. Once a port
is broken, even if it's not reported as broken, its days of
maintainerless existence are numbered.

So, does anyone care?

I do, but I mean, besides me?

Is there anybody ready to step up and take maintainership and ensure
these ports continue to work?
(If there is, don't read the rest of the e-mail, it's moot.)

I'm afraid there isn't anybody, and that's why I'm asking here whether I
can be that somebody.

It would be nice there was some way to make an official distinction
between standard maintainership and maintainership-by-default-because-I-

The problem is that Marino's shoes are difficult to fill. I'm basically
applying for a position while I have no experience (I only compiled gcc
three times in my life), no relevant skill (except reading C), and
almost no time. The only thing preventing me from being the most
ill-suited person for the role is that I care. Is it enough?

I'm used to imposter's syndrome, but taking for example the recent thread
that's already way beyond my league.

On top of that, I'm only running recent -RELEASE, I'm not sure I can
find a box on which to run -CURRENT, and I don't hope having some
-STABLE or older -RELEASE available. That limits quite a bit my testing

I think I can handle the load of being the contact person for these
ports and dealing with the bugtracker and things like that. So if there
is anyone reading this with a bit of technical expertise to help but who
doesn't want to deal with the communication part of the maintainership,
please let me know, so I can volunteer less shakily.

So at this point, is there anybody to talk me out of trying to maintain
gcc-aux and some of the Ada ports left behind?

What is the procedure to ask for maintainership on these?

I still haven't fully sketched the exact list of package I would try to
claim, but I use daily lang/gcc6-aux, www/aws, devel/florist-gpl, and
devel/gprbuild; I occasionally use devel/adacurses and devel/gnatcoll;
and I could easy integrate into my workflow lang/adacontrol and
lang/asis. I would take some more, going out of my way to test them, but
I'll have to think about which ones are within my reach. The gnatdroid
and gnatcross ones are almost certainly not.

Thanks for your patience,

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