[aur-general] Moving packages to Community

Xyne xyne at archlinux.ca
Sat Feb 5 15:38:44 EST 2011

Gergely Imreh wrote:

> Hi,
> Recently a couple of my packages have been moved to Community but the
> process feels a little uneasy to me.
> My impression is that AUR is treated as a "second class" source of
> packages compared to the official repos. Not surprising, of course, so
> many packages have problems. This is also underlined by the fact that
> yaourt and other AUR managers are not allowed in the official repos,
> as "not to give the impression that AUR is official" (paraphrasing
> what I've read before).

It is "second class" in that anybody can upload packages to it. That includes
both incompetent and malicious packagers. All AUR users should be aware of the
inherent dangers of using the AUR and that is at least part of the reason that
no AUR helpers are allowed in the official repos.

That does not mean that the AUR is a package cesspool. Many if not most packages
on the AUR are indeed very good, but it does not receive the same scrutiny that
the official repos receive.

> If there is indeed this divide, it feels more than little weird, that
> popular packages are just taken in to Community without even asking
> the current managers. It gives me the message that "AUR has no value,
> except when we say it has, at which time thanks for your work but now
> bugger off". I beg your pardon, if it comes through too harsh. I
> wouldn't have objected to have those packages moved. I, however,
> object to unilateral decisions.
> My proposition is: could it be a policy to check with the maintainer
> first before initiating a move? If someone wants to keep a package
> then they should be able to, especially since they could not have been
> doing such a a bad job if their package has become popular.
> Cheers,
>    Greg

Some of the replies so far show clear territoriality. AUR maintainers feel that
packages belong to them, and TUs feel that PKGBUILDs belong to Arch and thus
the TUs can do whatever they want because they are part of Arch.

It is true that all contributions to the AUR are contributions to Arch. AUR
maintainers do not "own" their packages and if the community as a whole is best
served by moving those packages then that is what should be done. TUs do not
need to ask permission before orphaning or deleting a package, so adopting or
moving a package should be no different.

However, more should be taken into consideration than just official permissions.

I fully understand Greg's sentiment and I have argued for contacting
maintainers before when this issue has arisen. Just because a TU is within his
rights to move the package without contacting the maintainer, it doesn't mean
he should. The attitude expressed by some of the TUs in reply to this shows a
fundamental lack of appreciation for community spirit. Arch benefits
immeasurably from such contributions, and being rude to contributors is not in
the best interest of the project. Sending a message or leaving a comment is
neither difficult nor time consuming. Effectively telling AUR maintainers
"stfu, you should be honored, plus you don't own it anyway" is not the way I
think TUs should deal with AUR maintainers.

We all do the same thing. The only difference is that TUs have some official
label stamped on them that gives them access to [community]. I suspect that most
TUs would expect to be informed of changes made to packages that they maintain,
so why should AUR maintainers be any different? It might be within your rights
to be rude, but you are not helping Arch in the long run by doing so.


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