Discussion:
[janitorial] project member list and maintenance status clean up
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Olaf Meeuwissen
2016-12-18 10:01:31 UTC
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Hi all,

You may remember that about two months ago, I mailed the list[1] asking
project members to reconfirm whether they still considered themselves a
SANE developer.

[1] https://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/sane-devel/2016-October/034843.html

That process has now been completed. The list is now 19 members long,
down from 58! I've removed 40 old members and Allan added one new one.
Welcome Dave!

I have updated Git write access info in the AUTHORS file accordingly.

I've also started updating backend maintenance info in the descriptions
file, using the simple rule that only backends with an AUTHOR with git
write access are to be considered maintained. If I were to follow that
rule strictly it would mean an extra *50* unmaintained backends, on top
of the 18 already marked as such, leaving only 22 out of 90 backends as
maintained.

The "newly" unmaintained backends would include the widely used 'dll'
and 'net' meta backends as well as some backends that have received
significant changes (i.e. other than compiler warning fixes). Seeing
that, I wasn't sure whether this changeset should be pushed.

What do you think? Should I just go ahead and make it clear that a
*lot* of backends are unmaintained and leave it up to project members to
start maintaining the ones they care about?

# I may pick up some meta-backends myself. Then again, I may not.

I was also thinking about adding a :maintainer field to the description
files, in favour of the "unmaintained" in the :version field. It would
help with assigning tracker items and be more specific than "an AUTHOR
with git write access". Just because people wrote and/or changed a
significant chunk of a backend doesn't mean they intend to maintain it.

Does that sound like a good idea? If so, I'll add it and seed it with
the AUTHOR(S) with Git write access. I think I'll also need to fiddle a
bit with the sane-desc.c code to make it grok the new field.

The "unmaintained" bit in the :version can then be removed as well. Any
backends without :maintainer fields (yes, plural because there can be
more than one) are automatically unmaintained.

BTW, I don't think that a :maintainer *needs* to be a project member,
although it sure would make things like assigning tracker items a bit
easier ;-)

Hope this helps,
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Olaf Meeuwissen
2016-12-23 08:36:01 UTC
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Hi Johannes,
Hello,
Post by Olaf Meeuwissen
What do you think? Should I just go ahead and make it clear
that a *lot* of backends are unmaintained and leave it up to
project members to start maintaining the ones they care about?
from my point of view an essential part of the ideas behind
free software is openness and truthfulness.
I.e. from my point of view go ahead and make it very clear
and obvious for everybody what the actual state is.
I think the worst thing that could happen is that someone
may volunteer for an unmaintained backend.
In contrast when actually unmaintained code is somehow
listed as if it was maintained then someone who does
not know the details may never think about to volunteer.
Thanks for your opinionated reply. I share your opinion but want to see
if there are folks, project member or otherwise, that prefer the current
situation. If I don't get any feedback, I think I'll just go ahead and
mark those 50 backends as unmaintained.

In the mean time, volunteers to maintain such backends are welcome!
Post by Olaf Meeuwissen
Just because people wrote and/or changed a significant chunk
of a backend doesn't mean they intend to maintain it.
I think the one who wrote a piece of code should also maintain
his piece of code - of course not forever - but at least for some
reasonable time until it is clear that his piece of code is o.k.
Agreed. My statement was triggered by looking at the list of backends
in the AUTHORS file and seeing some folks with git write access that may
just have helped out at some point and got listed there. It wouldn't be
fair to make them maintainer just because of that.

# Just because I've been fixing up compiler warnings all over the place
# doesn't make me a maintainer for all those backends, does it? I sure
# hope not ;-)
I love things like "git log -p --follow" and "git blame -w -M"
for correct assignment of guilt ;-)
Thanks for the tip. Doing this for 90 backends though is an awful lot
of work ;-) Maybe I should think about how this could be scripted ...
Then again, you'd really have to look at the commit messages to assign
"guilt" correctly.

Hope this helps,
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Olaf Meeuwissen, LPIC-2 FSF Associate Member since 2004-01-27
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Johannes Meixner
2016-12-23 12:34:55 UTC
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Hello Olaf,
...
Post by Olaf Meeuwissen
I love things like "git log -p --follow" and "git blame -w -M"
for correct assignment of guilt ;-)
Thanks for the tip. Doing this for 90 backends though is an awful
lot of work ;-)
I did not mean to use it to assign general maintainership.

Personally I only use it when staring at a piece of code
where I fail to understand what is meant with that code
(cf. https://github.com/rear/rear/wiki/Coding-Style).

Then I like it when git is used because git can show me
with a single command the whole history who made what
so that I have a better chance to ask the right person(s).


Kind Regards
Johannes Meixner
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