AWOL/MIA Maintainer Policy
The purpose for this policy is to provide a mechanism within Fedora Extras to handle situations when a package maintainer becomes unavailable to continue maintainership, often refered to as AWOL (absent without leave) or MIA (missing in action). The end goal is to help prevent packages becoming stale through non-maintenance, reduce open bugs on non-maintained packages and assist in the overall quality of Fedora Extras.
This policy covers existing Fedora Extras packages; for AWOL package submitters or reviewers, see ["Extras/Policy/StalledReviews"] . This mechanism is not limited to existing Fedora Extras contributors. For non-contributors, see below for instructions.
- When Fedora Extras member sees that a maintainer isn't answering their bugs, not answering rebuild requests, emails or the like, they need to file a bug against the package in bugzilla asking for the maintainer to respond. This bug should list the outstanding issues they need to address. This is a must.
- After every 7 days, the reporter adds a comment to the bug asking again for response. Others can add to the bug that they also were not successful in contacting the maintainer, or providing additional contact information for the maintainer (ie, alternative email, irc, etc).
- After 2 attempts (2 weeks) of no response from the maintainer, the reporter posts to the fedora-extras list with a url to the bug report and asks if anyone knows how to contact the maintainer.
- After another 7 days (now 3 weeks total), the reporter posts a formal request to the extras list with the bug link, indicating all reasonable efforts have been made to contact the maintainer have failed and that they wish to take over the package.
- If atleast one FESco member approves the take over and no one objects within 3 days, you may take over the package.
- If you are a not an existing Extras contributor, you can still take over a package. All of the above must be followed. When you seek approval for the take over, you, again, must provide a bugzilla report as if it were a new Extras package review. This will allow the normal review process to happen -- that includes finding a sponsor that believes you understand the packaging rules. Information on sponsorship is at ["Extras/HowToGetSponsored"] and the full process for becoming a contributor to Fedora Extras is at ["Extras/Contributors"] . You'll probably want to start from step 7 . You can peruse the packaging guidelines at ["Packaging/Guidelines"] .
- Once approval has been given, the owers.list in CVS can be modified to reflect the new owner. In addition to this, the new owner must also reassign any open bugs on that package to themselves.
Notes for Mass Orphaning
- It is common for a Fedora contributor maintain multiple packages within Extras, and the situation may arise where multiple packages with a single maintainer need to be orphaned. Given that, it would be quite impractical to create a bugzilla ticket for each package. In the case where a mass orphaning is likely, the above should still be followed choosing a single package owned by the potential AWOL/MIA developer. However, the formal request to the Fedora Extras development mailing list should include all other bug reports open on all neglected packages from the same maintainer, indicating that the maintainer is indeed AWOL/MIA. The Steering Committee can then step in and orphan the other packages if necessary.
Notes for Maintainers
It is understood that maintainers will go on vacation or will otherwise be unavailable for possibly significant lengths of time. There are a couple of things that maintainers should consider doing if they know in advance that they will be unavailable;
- Designate a co-maintainer. Currently there is no policy on the exact details of this, but in general another Fedora Extras contributor can be asked to maintain the package in the maintainer's absense. Simply add the address of the co-maintainer to the CC slot in owners.list and inform the fedora-extras mailing list of the change.
- Edit the ["Vacation"] page to indicate when you will be away.