new ports and maintainer

Frank Schima mf2k at
Fri Jul 25 09:52:18 PDT 2014

On Jul 25, 2014, at 5:21 AM, Ryan Schmidt <ryandesign at> wrote:

> On Jul 24, 2014, at 8:06 PM, Mihai Moldovan wrote:
>> However, non-openmaintainer ports are required to insert a comment in the
>> Portfile, reading something along those lines:
>> # TIMESTAMP: openmaintainer prohibited.
>> TIMESTAMP could be something like 20140725.
>> A script could periodically go through all Portfiles and examine them regarding
>> this comment. If the timestamp is, say, older than six months, it is removed and
>> openmaintainer forcefully added.
>> Port maintainers are required to increase the timestamp on each change (or at
>> least often enough to prevent escalation to openmaintainer. I don't literally
>> mean each change. For rarely updated ports, it will effectively be "on each
>> change".)
> I do not want to have to update a timestamp in every portfile periodically. That's just busywork. We have other ways to see if a maintainer is active.
> I agree we have a problem with maintainers disappearing and it taking some time for us to notice and react. But we do have a port abandonment procedure, and I would instead focus on improvements to that procedure, and better maintainer education. For example, we could improve the port abandonment procedure to include all other ports by the same maintainer; that's how I usually file the tickets anyway. We could mention in the guide what our expectations are when a maintainer no longer has the time or interest for maintaining. We could recommend the addition of openmaintainer when someone assumes maintainership, especially for non-committers. We could include information on how to retire in the email that management sends to approved committers.
> There was a recent discussion about manually sending out a maintainer survey, but it would be nice not to bother maintainers who are clearly active. We could develop an automated way to survey maintainers about their continued involvement. An automated system could estimate a maintainer's level of current involvement in the project by checking for tickets filed, commits made, mailing list posts sent, and only send such emails periodically to developers who have not been active in the last 3 months, say. A maintainer could reply to such an email to indicate whether they are still active; a "no" response or multiple unanswered emails could trigger the port abandonment procedure, e.g. by automatically filing a port abandonment ticket or even by automatically removing them as maintainer of their ports.

We definitely need a better process for determining which maintainers are inactive. That was the basis of my idea of a short and simple mass email. I suspect we have lots of dead email addresses which will be easy to remove. Even if that alone could somehow be determined such as by examining the mail logs somehow, it would be very helpful. 

Shree, Will, is this possible?


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