[aur-general] Package requests & wiki cleanup strategy

Jakub Klinkovský j.l.k at gmx.com
Sun Jul 6 20:00:28 EDT 2014

Hello all,

few months ago, in April and May, I have organized a community action to clean
up broken links to AUR (and official) packages on the Arch wiki (see [0-2]).
This has been done with a bot [3], which goes through all pages on Arch wiki
with at least one package link and detects broken links.

This is not very good strategy for multiple reasons:

1) It relies on one man to run the bot, process the log and create the
   appropriate wiki page. It is also very demanding task as one pass takes over
   four hours to execute and currently requires manual intervention about every
   30 minutes.
2) It is safe to assume that only the newest broken links will be updated or
   removed. There are hundreds of broken links on unmaintained pages, usually in
   a language that no Archer speaks. These links clutter the list and make
   finding the recent broken links difficult.
3) Finding the information necessary to update the link (or the relevant section
   if necessary) is lengthy, sometimes impossible if the person is not directly
   involved in the software or its (re)moval in the repos. (Not all package
   deletions/merges/moves are "logged" in the ML, right?)

There are solutions for 1 and 2 (improve the bot and make it run on a server,
filter out ancient broken links), but 3 is the main reason. I would like to
discuss a strategy that would take the issue more "from the source". The
recently introduced "File Request" feature of the AUR backend should come in

Ideally, the wiki would be updated by the person responsible for the package's
(re)moval (i.e. the person filing the request, if there is one), so I was
thinking that something like "please update the wiki" (along with some useful
information, e.g. link to wiki search query with the package's name) could be
added to the file request form. Also some instructions could be put in the wiki
and linked to.

Next, it should be ensured that the information necessary for updating the link
is searchable, even after longer time. The aur-requests ML is perfect for this,
but there are actions not going through the file request feature (e.g. action on
TU's initiative), right? Plus also the actions over official repos.
I haven't given much thought to this yet, but there could be a public log of all
actions in the AUR and (separately) official repositories.
The information necessary are timestamp, pkgname, action type and reason (link
to aur-requests if available).

Any other ideas, comments, improvements? I haven't followed the development of
AUR for the past two months, so I might have missed something...


[0]: https://mailman.archlinux.org/pipermail/arch-general/2014-April/035793.html
[1]: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/User:Lahwaacz.bot/Report_2014-04-05
[2]: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/User:Lahwaacz.bot/Report_2014-05-11
[3]: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Wiki_Monkey

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