While the new AUR request functionality is a good thing and widely accepted (over 500 requests yet), it also brings us some problems:
(1)inhibition threshold - It is much easier to remove a package now. (2)response time - Requests get accepted before the package maintainer or others have time to explain or react.
There may be other problems, but these two bugged me since it was implemented.
## For the tl;dr version, please skip the following remarks. ##
(1)This goes for both the requester and the TU that accepts it. I have seen requests that consisted only of two words. Back then, when we were forced to use email, you could read at least a whole sentence and have a rationale. Also some TUs do not seem to care about providing a reason, why a certain request has been accepted or declined. There was a feedback mail back then, so the requester knew there was someone working on it.
(2)Orphan requests have a grace period of 14 days. That is good, but for other requests there is none. So packages get deleted before they even could get fixed. Some TUs do not even question the reason for the request and just delete it without investigating.
Now you might ask me to provide some evidence... Let's blame two users today: FredBezies and foutrelis.
FredBezies seems to try finding "dead projects" in the AUR. He does so by clicking on the homepage link and if it does not display the project website, he files a deletion request stating the project/homepage is dead (no googling, no word to the maintainer). Otherwise (for VCS packages) he looks at the last commit date and files a deletion request, if it has not been updated in 3 years, again with the reason "dead project". For example in case of the 'tasque-git' package the url of all gnome-related packages changed to include "/Apps/" in the wiki link and there has been no redirection for this particular package. However, there have been commits this year and the package is therefore not dead.
foutrelis seem to like clean lists, as he just accepted any deletion request that was open today (including the absurd ones by FredBezies), without reading the mailing list before and without providing a reason. If it does not really make sense to answer questions and remarks like Scimmia and I (and others!) did, the aur-requests mailing list should be read-only.
What can we do to make things better? Should we (re)write the policy for TUs about accepting AUR requests? They should at least investigate. I think a good start would be to have users provide real reasons for deleting a package and trying to fix them otherwise (themselves or with help from the maintainer).
best regards, carstene1ns