[aur-general] [community] repository cleanup

Allan McRae allan at archlinux.org
Wed Nov 17 14:10:32 CET 2010

On 17/11/10 22:45, Heiko Baums wrote:
> Am Tue, 16 Nov 2010 23:19:40 -0500
> schrieb Kaiting Chen<kaitocracy at gmail.com>:
>> I think it's kind of hard for me to see why I should maintain a
>> package that's already been discarded by its developer. In my opinion
>> such packages should be moved to [unsupported] where the one more two
>> people who might want to use them can simply build them themselves.
> Why should those packages be removed from the repos as long as they are
> running? That doesn't make sense. And such packages doesn't make any
> work for the developers. They can just be staying in the repos without
> doing any harm like e.g. eboard.

Because there is no-one in charge of any bug reports, monitoring 
security issues, rebuilding the package for soname bumps...  Packages 
without a maintainer do cause all other devs needless work.

> Regarding ding as an example doesn't make much work for the devs
> because it's updated by upstream every two years. And this package is
> really popular at least in Germany, because it's an English-German
> dictionary. And this tool is really old - but not outdated and
> unmainted. It's one of the first Linux applications and available in
> every repo of every distro.

Every distro... bold statement!
Not there....

> And the question is not cleaning up the repos in principle. The
> question is this mass cleanup and the removal of several popular and
> important packages even if they are orphaned.
> If there's an orphan quite popular then an unorphaned packages which is
> not popular or important could be moved to AUR and the orphaned and
> more popular package could be adopted by this dev. Just an example.

Why would a dev drop a package they use and actively maintain for 
another one they do not use?  That seems no fun, and given fun is what 
motivates volunteers...

> squashfs-tools are necessary for building LiveCDs incl. the Arch Linux
> installation CD as far as I know. So I'm not sure if this package
> actually wouldn't belong to [core].

It is not needed to boot your system, so it definitely does not belong 
in [core].  None of the release engineering team have mentioned that it 
is needed either...

> btrfs-progs also doesn't belong to AUR. This package belongs into
> [core] and should be supported by AIF. Even if it's still marked as
> experimental, many people in the web report that it's pretty stable and
> that it's only missing an fsck. And many people report that it's
> usable on systems which don't need to be absolutely reliable.
> Btw., instead of the stable package btrfs-progs there's a package
> btrfs-progs-unstable in [extra] which really makes sense as the repos
> are meant to be stable repos.

Agreed.  Upstream labels it unstable software so both should be dropped 
if we are consistent.  This is just getting rid of more packages! :P

> eboard, a still working and good chess GUI, was moved from [extra] to
> AUR. It's not maintained by upstream anymore but it's still working,
> it's quite popular and doesn't make any work for the devs. Having this
> in [extra] means there's a compiled and working package which doesn't
> need to be maintained. Having this package in AUR means that every user
> who wants to install this package must compile this package by himself.
> So what sense does this cleanup make? It makes completely no sense!

It still needs maintained...  see above.  If it was really no issue to 
build it once, then why complain if it is in the AUR.  Or use xboard, 
pychess, etc that are used by developers here and maintained in our repos.

> epdfviewer is a very popular because lightweight PDF viewer for GTK.
> Galculator is the best calculator for GTK I know and also quite
> popular, at lest recommended quite often e.g. in the Xfce wiki. What's
> such a package doing in AUR?

The wiki also recommends using an AUR helper and they are very popular, 
but we do not put those in the repos.

> And, please, don't tell me anything about missing interest of the devs.
> As if every dev is using every package which he maintains himself or
> every dev only maintains only packages he is using himself.

I use every package I maintain and follow upstream mailing lists for 
most of them.  Maintaining a package well is more than just dumping a 
binary in the repo.


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