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

Allan McRae allan at archlinux.org
Fri May 22 10:27:07 EDT 2009

Abhishek Dasgupta wrote:
> 2009/5/22 Allan McRae <allan at archlinux.org>:
>> I am very much against adding _unnecessary_ fields to PKGBUILDs...   If
>> these are not needed by makepkg or pacman, they should only be comments.  It
>> is going to take a lot of convincing for me to think otherwise.
> As long as the information in # Maintainer tags and the web interface
> is the *same*, there is no problem.
> What is required is an easily accessible database of current maintainers
> for each package. It's always best to have as much information available
> in easily downloadable form. One way (and there can be numerous
> different ways of doing this) is to put this in the PKGBUILD in a parseable
> form -- the reason for a bash array with the username:
> - makes it easily parseable by bash scripts
> - putting only the username and no other extraneous information
>   as email etc can change.
> - ignored by makepkg as it does not recognise it (and doesn't need to)
> - has no effect on the binary
> As an example consider the *files.db.tar.gz stuff. Before that if one wanted
> to check the filelist of a particular package, one would need to download
> that particular package and check out its contents. Now, the files database
> is put in an easily accessible location which enables programs like pkgfile
> to access and make use of that information.
> While this information could have been put as a kind of API (like the AUR
> JSON interface) that would have reduced usability for users who would like
> to view a filelist offline.
> Currently there is no _simple_ way for scripts of finding the maintainer of a
> given package in the official repositories. The only way is to parse the webpage
> which is hackish and certainly not KISS. An abs (or even svn) checkout does not
> help since there is no necessity that the Maintainer tag in the PKGBUILD and the
> maintainer listed in the web interface is the same; which just makes
> the Maintainer
> tag in the PKGBUILD totally irrelevant since one has to check the web interface
> anyway.
> All this was discussed in the arch-dev-public thread I mentioned a few
> posts back.
> At that time, most people seemed to agree that this was a good idea but
> nothing came of it.

So, to disown a package from the official repos would no longer require 
just clicking "orphan" but unsetting the maintainer flag in SVN/CVS.  
And adopting would require adding to the maintainer flag rather than 
just clicking "adopt".  Given the majority of packages don't even have 
the motivation to add ChangeLogs, this extra layer of annoyance to take 
over the maintaining of a package just does not seem appealing.  This is 
why I see no point in discussing this because in practice people will 
not change the maintainer package until they do an update/rebuild at 
which point they should change the maintainer line anyway...


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