[arch-dev-public] [RFC] Removing maintainer/contributor lines from PKGBUILDs

Eli Schwartz eschwartz at archlinux.org
Tue Aug 25 22:10:23 UTC 2020

On 8/25/20 3:58 PM, Evangelos Foutras via arch-dev-public wrote:
> I am not sure these serve any purpose. The maintainer line duplicates
> information available from the archweb or aur interfaces and could
> also be outdated. The contributor lines are mostly redundant with svn
> or git history, can take up several lines in the PKGBUILD and can
> become irrelevant after significant refactoring.
> What are your thoughts on dropping all these seemingly unnecessary
> lines from our official PKGBUILDs? Anyone feel strongly about keeping
> them (and why)?

If they ever leave the git repository, they do become somewhat useful...
"someday" it would be nice for pacman/repo-add to support "source
repositories" containing `makepkg --source` artifacts. We also have a
bunch of these in https://sources.archlinux.org/sources/

Certain downstream distros (Parabola, ALARM) sync the PKGBUILDs and
check them into their own version control, with modifications. There's
no git log there to point at the maintainers/contributors of the parts
that were synced from us.

As Lukas mentioned, your points only really touch on the Maintainer
line, the Contributor lines aren't at all covered due to not actually
being recorded in svn or git history at all:

- svn *can't* store it
- people in the AUR are as likely to pastebin a PKGBUILD update (with
  their name added to the Contributor: lines) as to submit a git patch
- official repos <--> AUR don't have any links and probably will not
  even without svn as a factor, since they have different requirements
  like .SRCINFO

I don't know whether it's actually a matter of care and concern to be
able to tell, historically, who the old maintainer was, but I wouldn't
actually assume that "the person who committed the change is the
maintainer", it's often non-maintainer updates for various reasons.


The information cannot be replaced and is not redundant. But it might be
that no one actually cares about the information. On the other hand, is
it bothersome to have it there anyway?

Eli Schwartz
Bug Wrangler and Trusted User

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