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AWOL owners and stale packages.



This is a request for comment and perhaps an informal proposal for how to handle packages with AWOL owners.

I have spent sometime discussing this process with a work college, a debian developer, on how best practice and the appropriate etiquette could be shown to the current owner of a said package. He suggested that debian's NMU or Non-Maintainer Upload, processed worked well within the debian development community.

I have read through this policy of debian's and think that it addresses the issues nicely of ensuring that packages are not left to become stale and not offend packager owners.

I am proposing we (Fedora Extras) adopt the same process. It would need to be made Fedora relevant and I would hope that people will see the plus in such a process.

The over all aim is to avoid "stale" packages in Extras, more swiftly pick up on unmaintained packages and hopefully encourage people to work on these packages by providing a process in which people can fix them.

An example would be:

http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-extras-list/2006-April/msg01763.html

This also allows people to demonstrate that they have a willingness to maintain a package and are capable of doing so.

You can review debian's process here:

http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/developers-reference/ch-pkgs.en.html#s-nmu

Some items that would need clarifying, would be the time needed to be considered "reasonable" in the time of contact and delay. Also, there would need to be persons responsible for "approving" the take over of a package.

Please note, this is not to address or replace the orphan process, but to help in cases where the package has not been orphaned and the maintainer is not contactable.

If a process like this is received well, then I am happy to draft it for FESCo to ponder.

Regards

Michael


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