I hope you don't mind, but after all these "discussions" lately I
thought I'd step out of the undergrowth, brush myself off and just tell
a little tale of how dealing with out-of-date packages can go in this
community. So grab a cup of your favorite beverage and have a relaxed read.
A little while back I came across the software synergy. Arch Linux being
Arch Linux, of course, has a package for it! Hurray I thought, no need
to package it myself. So I went and installed it. Sadly I realized it is
quite out of date. At this point I can't remember if it was me who
flagged it or if it was already flagged. Regardless, I thought "Maybe
the maintainer is already on it, let's give them some time."
After, I believe, about two weeks I thought, well let's take a look at
the maintainers account aaand wow! According to the package search they
are listed as maintainer on 591 packages! No wonder if a package or two
fall through the cracks. So I looked in the PKGBUILD and found the email
address of the maintainer. I quickly emailed them along the lines of
"Hey, I noticed the synergy package has been out of date for a while. I
also see you have tons of packages to maintain. Want some help with
synergy?". Quite quickly I got a reply (paraphrasing) "Oh sorry about
that, I had forgotten about that package. Some help would be amazing,
here's a link to a github repository where I keep my packages. Feel free
to open a pull request.".
To github! Synergy was stubborn as they have lot's of bundled
dependencies that all want to be unraveled. It was a journey in which I
deepened my knowledge about CMake, learned to curse project maintainers
that don't think about us packaging-people and eventually even learned a
few more details about packaging for Arch Linux. After some time the
pull request was ready. The package maintainer had to add a little spit
and polish, after which it was merged and released into the wild. No
further flagging or requesting necessary.
So to all newbies out there that may have gotten scared by what was
going on in the mailing lists lately: Don't be afraid! As far as I have
perceived it so far, this is a welcoming and supportive community with
great people working on a great (if not the best) Linux distribution.
Thank you Anthraxxx for the lovely interactions we had in the course of
working on the synergy package!
Hope this can shed some positivity. Best regards,