[aur-general] A Positive Tale about an out-of-date Package

Luca Corbatto luca-arch at corbatto.de
Sun Nov 4 16:29:15 UTC 2018

Hi everyone,

I hope you don't mind, but after all these "discussions" lately I 
thought I'd step out of the undergrowth, brush myself off and just tell 
a little tale of how dealing with out-of-date packages can go in this 
community. So grab a cup of your favorite beverage and have a relaxed read.

A little while back I came across the software synergy. Arch Linux being 
Arch Linux, of course, has a package for it! Hurray I thought, no need 
to package it myself. So I went and installed it. Sadly I realized it is 
quite out of date. At this point I can't remember if it was me who 
flagged it or if it was already flagged. Regardless, I thought "Maybe 
the maintainer is already on it, let's give them some time."

After, I believe, about two weeks I thought, well let's take a look at 
the maintainers account aaand wow! According to the package search they 
are listed as maintainer on 591 packages! No wonder if a package or two 
fall through the cracks. So I looked in the PKGBUILD and found the email 
address of the maintainer. I quickly emailed them along the lines of 
"Hey, I noticed the synergy package has been out of date for a while. I 
also see you have tons of packages to maintain. Want some help with 
synergy?". Quite quickly I got a reply (paraphrasing) "Oh sorry about 
that, I had forgotten about that package. Some help would be amazing, 
here's a link to a github repository where I keep my packages. Feel free 
to open a pull request.".

To github! Synergy was stubborn as they have lot's of bundled 
dependencies that all want to be unraveled. It was a journey in which I 
deepened my knowledge about CMake, learned to curse project maintainers 
that don't think about us packaging-people and eventually even learned a 
few more details about packaging for Arch Linux. After some time the 
pull request was ready. The package maintainer had to add a little spit 
and polish, after which it was merged and released into the wild. No 
further flagging or requesting necessary.

So to all newbies out there that may have gotten scared by what was 
going on in the mailing lists lately: Don't be afraid! As far as I have 
perceived it so far, this is a welcoming and supportive community with 
great people working on a great (if not the best) Linux distribution.

Thank you Anthraxxx for the lovely interactions we had in the course of 
working on the synergy package!

Hope this can shed some positivity. Best regards,
Luca (targodan)

More information about the aur-general mailing list