[aur-general] changing the status of the maintainer field

Xyne xyne at archlinux.ca
Thu May 21 14:01:27 EDT 2009

We really need to clarify this once and for all because this comes up
at least once a month it seems.

I think most people have agreed to the following definitions, which
match their plain English meaning:

Maintainer: The person who maintains the package currently, i.e. the
person who is responsible for keeping the package up-to-date and for
handling any bugs in the package such as missing dependencies etc.

Contributor: Someone who has previous contributed to the package, e.g.
previous maintainers, people who have submitted modifications of the
build function or dependency array, people who have contributed icons,
install scripts and local sources.

No distinction should be made between official packages and AUR
packages regarding these definitioins. Maintaining an AUR package
requires the same effort as the official package and the maintainer is
just as relevant. I have no idea why someone at some point decided that
official packages are "special" and that those who maintain them are
also "special".

The current maintainer should be readily identifiable so that users
know whom to contact when issues with the package arise. This is best
left to the web interface in my opinion because it is always
up-to-date, whereas a field in the PKGBUILD will not get updated when a
package is orphaned. The ideal would be to have a simplified API to the
website so that it would be trivial to retrieve the current maintainer
using a local script/program. The AUR has a json interface which is
perfect for this. Hopefully the official repos will get this too with
the coming changes, but I don't actually know what they're going to do
(although I have sumitted a feature request for a json interface to the
official repos on flyspray... I think the response was that it will get
implemented later).

All articles in the wiki need to be updated to reflect this so that
people can stop citing outdated pages as arguments for doing it
differently. I've updated one page previously but this seems to be
spread all over the place.

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