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Subject: Re: [boost] [Bug Sprint] Policy on MIA maintainers
From: Dean Michael Berris (mikhailberis_at_[hidden])
Date: 2010-11-30 00:05:52

On Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 9:32 PM, Jim Bell <Jim_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> (Was "Re: [boost] [Bug Sprint] The Boost bug sprint has begun!")
> On 1:59 PM, Dean Michael Berris wrote:
>> I think for the meantime the best we can do is keep sending in patches
>> and bugging the maintainers to either look at the patches. Until we
>> get to a consensus on how to deal with inactive maintainers, I guess
>> we can only play by the same rules in the meantime.
> I think now's the time to get that consensus, or start the process.
> (And, of course, I'm thinking about Boost.Guild.)

I don't think it's worth holding up the sprint for it was what I
meant. Some of us have other things to do than just try to get
consensus about what to do with MIA maintainers. ;)

That said, I think it's an important conversation to be had.

Although I still think that contacting the maintainers and getting
their approval to give someone commit privileges or make someone more
active a co-maintainers would be easier than making a policy in

> I'd like someone to walk through a case study right here on the list.
> (Or a few people!)

I'll take this up at a later time.


>> Aside from that, really all we can do is look at issues that seem to
>> have been neglected, and just keep at it until either:
>> 1. The maintainers grant commit access to those who really want to
>> contribute and co-maintain the library, or...
>> 2. The maintainers actually apply the patches and close the issues.
>> Either way we'll get the job done IMO. :)
> If a maintainer is MIA, I say "we" apply the patches. One or more people
> look at a patch, mark the ticket as recommended, and/or put it on the
> list of patches for someone with SVN permissions to apply. Or mark it as
> NOT recommended, and close the ticket.

The problem with that is who the "we" are, and what the maintainer's
job will actually be if he can be vetoed by who the "we" are. The
reason a person is the maintainer is because he has agreed that he
will maintain the library and support it across releases of the
library. Applying patches that are deemed suitable is that person's
responsibility. If someone is willing to step up in helping in the
effort, he has to be anointed by the maintainer, no way around it IMO.

Now if it's an issue of getting more people to help with cleaning up
or addressing issues, I don't think that needs any permission from the
maintainer. In the case of the MIA maintainer, getting the person's
agreement to share the maintenance duties with someone else would be
better than making it a "free for all" or for making a special class
of developers that will get that privilege of committing to the

I'd say we deal with it on a case to case basis and not go into the
putting too much policy in place.

Dean Michael Berris

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