package EOL

Michael J. Knox michael at
Tue Apr 25 21:48:30 UTC 2006

Paul wrote:
> Hi,
>> So, my offering to unorphane Sodipodi seems to have raised a couple of 
>> good questions.
>> When should a package be removed and considered no longer maintainable?
> I would suggest the following:
> 1. If the package would fall under the legacy project and has been
> orphaned up to that point (sodipodi would be an example)
> 2. If the package has been abandoned upstream and the only way to bring
> it to a current FE would involve significant work (see below)
> 3. If the upstream has moved to a different version of (say) Java and to
> import using the current gcj stack would require a significant amount of
> work due to rewrite/backporting (see same thing below as for [2])
> (2) and (3) come with the obvious caveat of "unless the new maintainer
> doesn't mind either taking on the main package or doing the rewrites"

I spoke with a co worker of mine, who is a debian developer, on what 
debian does in these cases.

He said that is up to the debian developer as to how long they want to 
maintain the package. He went on to say that as long as the application 
function and was free from release critical bugs, then debian will 
continue to ship it. He also said, that if a upstream vendor is not 
maintaining the application anymore (or seems not to be) then its up to 
the packager to fix bugs etc.

I am not sure if other agree on that approach or not.

>> How long without a release till considered inactive?
> You can't. I know of quite a few packages that are stable. z88dk and
> fuse-emulator are stable and it's been a while since the main branches
> have been updated. Neither though are inactive.

Right. Perhaps time is a poor measurement of a projects status? Perhaps 
some other measurement should be made for determining this.

>> What lengths should someone go to, to confirm a project status?
> Email the current maintainer seems good.

Yep, did that before offering to take over the package. Did the same 
with monkey-bubble (which resulted in my fixed being applied to cvs)

>> Why Orphane a package that is considered EOL?
> Some packages, though EOL, should be kept purely on the merit of how
> good they are.

My point was more, why orphan it if the general consensus is to drop it? 
Should it not be placed in a "dropped" list or something?

>> I know FE as it stands does not have a policy on this, perhaps its worth 
>> knocking out some overall guidelines for the wiki?
> Sounds like a cunning plan!

Indeed and useful to I would think


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