Rubyforge etiquette for dead projects

Apologies if this is not the right forum for this, but this surely has
the right audience.

I have been using a few projects on rubyforge / sourceforge (ruby
projects) which are now unfortunately dead (no SVN activity for more
than a year, no forum no tracker nothing).
I have been been monkey patching some of them in my local repository
and my attempts at contacting the project owners has failed.
They have apparently lost interest and moved on.

  • I could continue to use them and monkey patch them as I go along

  • I could abandon them and use something else (with some pain)

  • I am willing to adopt at least one and maintain it, fixing bugs and
    enhancing.

I wonder if the last one is even an option, and if yes then how.

  • Nasir

On May 17, 12:55 pm, “Nasir K.” [email protected] wrote:

  • I could continue to use them and monkey patch them as I go along

  • I could abandon them and use something else (with some pain)

  • I am willing to adopt at least one and maintain it, fixing bugs and
    enhancing.

I wonder if the last one is even an option, and if yes then how.

As someone who has a couple of rubyforge projects that haven’t had any
updates for over a year…

Probably the best thing to do is to email the maintainer and ask if
you can get commit access for the project. They might even invite you
to completely take over the project if you want.

If you don’t hear back from the project owner, then perhaps you could
contact someone at RubyForge and ask if you can adopt the project (I’m
not familiar with the mechanics, but it should be possible).

Phil

Phil T. wrote:

If you don’t hear back from the project owner, then perhaps you could
contact someone at RubyForge and ask if you can adopt the project (I’m
not familiar with the mechanics, but it should be possible).

The last time this came up the RubyForge admins said that they were very
reluctant to turn over a project to another person without the owner’s
permission. The project’s owner owns the copyrights and if he didn’t
give permission then things could get very nasty.

Lacking the owner’s permission your best alternative would be to fork
the project with a new name.

On 5/17/07, Tim H. [email protected] wrote:

Lacking the owner’s permission your best alternative would be to fork
the project with a new name.

Some owners have been including a clause on their project homepage
stating that ownership can be handed over to another developer if the
owner is unreachable or unresponsive after X period of time. Just a
reminder and a hint to current project owners.

TwP

On 5/17/07, Phil T. [email protected] wrote:

If you don’t hear back from the project owner, then perhaps you could
contact someone at RubyForge and ask if you can adopt the project (I’m
not familiar with the mechanics, but it should be possible).

Typically, we’d rather see someone fork a project. If the original
maintainer can’t be contacted, the best bet is to just change the name
of the project, fork it, and start a new RubyForge project.

We haven’t found any better solution that keeps us from accidentally
upsetting someone.
Tom would have the ultimate say on this, but I’m pretty sure that’s
the response you’d get from him.

-greg

Nasir K. wrote:

  • nasir

Normally with projects on rubyforge, the license explicitly permits
forking. In fact, this is the case with nearly all open source software,
and most (all?) of the software on rubyforge is open source.

Dan

On Fri, 2007-05-18 at 04:55 +0900, Nasir K. wrote:

  • I could continue to use them and monkey patch them as I go along

  • I could abandon them and use something else (with some pain)

  • I am willing to adopt at least one and maintain it, fixing bugs and
    enhancing.

I wonder if the last one is even an option, and if yes then how.

Sorry to reply a few days late, but anyhow, what Gregory B. said was
right on, and there are a couple more details in this FAQ item:

http://rubyforge.org/docman/view.php/5/460/faq.html#abandoned

Yours,

Tom

The project’s owner owns the copyrights and if he didn’t
give permission then things could get very nasty.

Would’nt forking be a copyright infringement?

When you say fork you basically mean start a new project with a
different name but use the old (dead) project’s code as a starting
point. Right?

Is there a precedence of forking on Rubyforge?

  • nasir

On Fri, May 18, 2007 at 02:46:51PM +0900, Nasir K. wrote:

Would’nt forking be a copyright infringement?

It is only a problem if the license doesn’t allow you to fork. Most
good open source licenses do allow forking.

Paul

On May 21, 9:12 pm, Tom C. [email protected] wrote:

right on, and there are a couple more details in this FAQ item:

http://rubyforge.org/docman/view.php/5/460/faq.html#abandoned

Still. It would seem like a good idea to have a policy of trying to
get up with a project contact, say after 3 years of inactivity, and
see what they say about the status of the project, maybe they will
want to classify the project as “Up For Adoption”.

T.

P.S. If you’re a C coder looking for a project to help, libxml-ruby is
a valuable project that could use the help.

On 5/23/07, Paul B. [email protected] wrote:

On Fri, May 18, 2007 at 02:46:51PM +0900, Nasir K. wrote:

Would’nt forking be a copyright infringement?

It is only a problem if the license doesn’t allow you to fork. Most
good open source licenses do allow forking.

And all free software licenses require it.

On 5/23/07, Trans [email protected] wrote:

Still. It would seem like a good idea to have a policy of trying to
get up with a project contact, say after 3 years of inactivity, and
see what they say about the status of the project, maybe they will
want to classify the project as “Up For Adoption”.

I don’t think this is needed, honestly. If you’re a new maintainer of
a project and you haven’t explicitly been handed the project, I think
it’s much better to continue under a new name. This way, people
understand that it is a new maintainer and the original project
reputation and ownership is still intact.

And it keeps us from having administrative headaches, too. :slight_smile:

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