How to handle unmaintained packages with few users

Last week I had an interesting discussion with Benjamin Bayart about unmaintained packages which have very few users. Once the initial maintainer disappear, we usually don’t find another one having both Debian skills and a good knowledge of the package. So the software just stay there until it becomes so outdated that it doesn’t work anymore… and then it gets removed blindly. Most of those packages have a low “popcon” rating so they get removed without care.

Read the whole problematic described by Benjamin, and then see my initial mail with a suggestion on how to do better in that area.

The discussion has seen interesting developments even if there’s no consensus (yet). But it’s an important topic concerning QA, so I hope that something useful will come out of it… I’d like to have more time to implement something but I’m already overloaded… I really should have proposed projects for Google’s summer of code. :-)

Additional Resources

Get the Debian Administrator's Handbook

After a successful liberation campaign, the Debian Administrator's Handbook is now freely available. If you appreciate my articles and what I do for Debian, check out the book and grab a copy.