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Re: The module authors pledge

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From:
Neil Bowers
Date:
November 11, 2011 12:51
Subject:
Re: The module authors pledge
Message ID:
42AFB937-AECC-490B-AC9A-519BECE5F3E6@bowers.com
>> To make life easier for the perl modules cabal, how about a voluntary
>> pledge
> 
> 	Nice idea. I like.

Good!

> 1. Maintainer has retired / is not interested anymore / has been abducted by aliens / etc.
> 
> [...] I was thinking of something quite similar where distributions would be tagged as orphaned after one year of inactivity, where activity is defined as (a) release a new version or (b) push a "yeah, yeah, I'm still here and interested" button somewhere.  To be successful, such a scheme should be careful to let maintainers know (in a non-spammy way) in advance that their time is running out, to prevent nasty surprises, and it should be easy and pain-free, even for the maintainers with lots of distributions.

Interesting thought. How about:

	- if a distribution author appears to be inactive, then the author would receive an email to their registered
	  CPAN email address saying "this distro appears to be inactive, just reply to this email to let me know otherwise".
	- An inactive module would be one with no release in the last N months, and some minimum number of
	  RT issues.

Replying to the email would essentially be saying to PAUSE, "Still interested, don't give it away".

The lack of a release isn't a sufficient criterion for inactive: there are plenty of solid modules which don't need
a release, because there's nothing to be done.

I think this would still have to be a mechanism that an author has to sign up to, rather than it automatically
being applied. 

> 2. Maintainer wants help
> 
> The other case is when a maintainer is still around, but either doesn't want to maintain a distribution anymore, or wouldn't mind a wee bit of help.  [...]
> 
> Maybe the solution to (1) and (2) lies with a site that would be the flip side of prepan.org (orPhAN.org ? :-) ), where modules up for adoption are listed?  But Neil brought the crucial point (I think), that no matter what, the passing of maintainership should never be done totally automatically, but should always at least get the blessing of the gardians of modules@perl.org or the ex-maintainer herself. Just, y'know, as human sanity check.

There could be two ways you could tag a module:

	(a) up for adoption
	(b) open to adoption requests

For case (a), you're essentially saying that you don't plan to do any updates, and if anyone's interested in taking it over,
then if modules@perl.org are happy with the suitors intentions (um, mixing my metaphors here), then they can hand
over the keys.

But at least one of my distros I'd tag with (b): I hope to do more releases, but if someone really wants to take it
forward, and convince me that they're serious, I'd hand it over.

All the modules tagged (a) could be listed, and searchable on metacpan.org, for example. So if someone's looking
for a side perl project, they could search this list for a module that appeals to them.

A bunch of related ideas here, but we don't want to make things too complex.

Neil



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