[aur-general] Removing comments from AUR

Heiko Baums lists at baums-on-web.de
Thu Jun 25 04:28:53 EDT 2009


I'm one of those "hobby maintainers", who maintain only a few packages
on AUR.

And I agree with Gergely Imreh. Moving the AUR comments to the mailing
list or to the bbs is not an option.

I'm only on this mailing list, because a while ago I had an orphan

I guess most maintainers like me are not on this mailing list. And
finding comments on this mailing list, e.g. in the archive, is not
really funny. I think many comments wouldn't be noticed by the
appropriate maintainer. So moving the comments to the mailing list is
definitely not an option.

Btw., the mailing list is called "aur-general", so I think, that this
mailing list is about AUR itself rather than single AUR packages.

Moving the comments to the bbs is also not an option, because I don't
look into the bbs every day. I usually only look into the bbs, if I've
got a problem, which is not a bug, and need to find a solution. If the
AUR comments would be moved to the bbs, I had to look into the bbs
nearly every day, only because it could be, that there is a new thread
regarding my packages. This is not practicable and too time consuming.

Sending mails to the maintainer directly is principally possible, but
if a maintainer of a package is not reachable, either temporarily or
permanently (mail server is down, e-mail account doesn't exist
anymore, he switches to a new ISP, or whatever), those comments go to
Nirvana. If a maintainer gets an issue by e-mail, but doesn't maintain
the package anymore, doesn't orphan the package, and doesn't respond to
such comments, which is unfortunately not so unusual, the comments are
gone and a new maintainer can't work on these issues.

In the AUR I can set the notify option and get a mail as soon as a
comment regarding one of my packages is posted, I know at once, which
package is affected, and I can look at this comment at once. Also this
way I can respond much faster. And I don't have to look every day for
new possible comments.

Also the users, who are interested in an AUR package can see, if there
are problems with a package, and can decide not to install a package.
This also increases the security of the AUR packages, because if
someone finds a security issue (see the "rm -f /*" example), he can
send a warning to the comments, so that every user can see it at first
glance. I guess not every user can read and understand shell scripts.

And I don't see, that the comments are misused as a forum in most
cases. Usually there are only comments regarding bugs, feature request,
etc. And for the cases, in which the AUR comments are misused as a
forum, there could be the possibility for the maintainer to delete such

With such a delete function the maintainer could also delete obsolete

Another point is, that the maintainer can give important notes about
his package, which need to be known before a package gets installed.
See e.g. my comments regarding the renaming of the fbcondecor kernel
from kernel26fbcondecor to kernel26-fbcondecor, or the hint, that two
specific graphic cards, which are supported by kernel26 are not
supported by kernel26-fbcondecor, etc.

I'm not sure, if it's useful to use the bug tracker for AUR packages,
because I haven't used a bug tracker as a developer yet. If I have to
look into the bug tracker every day to see, if there is a possible bug
report for my package, then I don't think that this is an option,
because I don't get so many comments for my packages.

I agree, that an issue, which needs a longer discussion, more testing
or whatever should be moved from the AUR comments to private e-mails
with the maintainer directly. But I haven't seen many of those cases in
the AUR comments.

So I don't see an alternative for the AUR comments, but I also vote for
a delete function for the maintainer.


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