Orphaned Packages

Edited By

Arnaud Limbourg

This document is based on the PEPr voting initiated by PEAR's Arnaud Limbourg. The purpose is to define when a package is orphaned and how to handle this.

The Problem

Sometimes a package is left without care for a long time. It becomes lonely and full of bugs. This is a very sad situation and somebody needs to step up to remedy it.

What can be considered an orphaned package ?

The following are considered orphaned packages:

  • A package with bugs open for longer than 2 months and the developers have not commented on the bug or made any commits to SVN during that time frame.
  • A package that has no open bugs and has bug fixes committed to SVN but does not have a release within 6 months of the bugs being fixed.
  • A package owned by somebody who is commonly known to be inactive.
  • A package denounced by its leads (i.e. The lead actually says that he is no longer maintaining it on pear-dev)

Contact process

A QA core-team member tries to contact the current maintainers and developers (cc'ing the QA list) asking about an update about their work on the package.

A package lead answers:

  • He states that he has no interest in the package anymore, he allows QA team to take the necessary steps
  • He states that he still intends to work on the package, but is busy at that point. Either a timeframe will then be decided upon by the lead and QA during which some activity must occur (i.e. I'm going to be busy the rest of this month but I'll get back to it on the 3rd of next month) OR a second lead developer will be sought to continue development

Finding a new lead

A message will be sent to pear-dev asking for volunteers.

Somebody steps up

If you are willing to take over a package you must notify the QA list and state who you are and why you want to take over.

If the QA team feels the person who stepped up is appropriate and capable, the team will make this person a new maintainer. In case several persons step up a case by case study will be carried out to assign new maintainer-ship.

Nobody wishes to take over

A QA core team member will mark the package as orphaned.

Orphan status

If a package is orphaned, a warning and a call for maintainers will be displayed on the main package page.


Descriptions of terms used on this page

Term Definition
QA team Refers to the whole QA team (core and mailing list members)
QA core Refers to the 6 elected QA team members
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