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Give up your modules!

by Ovid (Cardinal)
on Aug 15, 2006 at 09:46 UTC ( #567411=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

This was originally posted to my journal, but I think it's important enough that it should be posted here.

No names, but if you happen to be sitting on modules which other people depend on and you're not going to fix bugs, give up the module, offer someone co-maintainership or figure out something which gives users a way out. I realize that not everyone has a pile of free time to constantly upgrade and maintain modules, but if it's something widely used and you don't have time for it, isn't the responsible thing to find a way to get those bug fixes out there?

When I say "bugs", I primarily mean bugs reported via RT. If you report them on AnnoCPAN, Perlmonks, or even private email to the author, those really shouldn't count as module authors cannot be expected to track down all of those various resources and remember them (and I know I probably have more than on bug report buried in my email, but damned if I can find 'em).

So please, if you maintain modules that others depend on and there are known, reported bugs for your module(s) that you're not fixing, make it possible that they can be fixed. Otherwise, users are forced to fork the code, have locally patched copies or engage in hideous workarounds. Don't do that to your users!


New address of my CGI Course.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Give up your modules!
by xdg (Monsignor) on Aug 15, 2006 at 11:28 UTC
Re: Give up your modules!
by ptum (Priest) on Aug 15, 2006 at 13:26 UTC

    I suspect that I am not alone in being willing to take on co-maintainership of a module -- it would not surprise me if there were a number of folks out there like me who have never authored a module but would be delighted to contribute in this manner.

    No good deed goes unpunished. -- (attributed to) Oscar Wilde
Re: Give up your modules!
by aufflick (Deacon) on Aug 16, 2006 at 08:07 UTC
    Should we ("we" being the Royal Perl Community "we") think of having a central SCM repositary that module developers can optionally use for managing the source code of their modules?

    The point in this case would be to allow a central administrative group to add/re-allocate commit/release permissions to a new maintainer if the old maintainer is uncontactable after a certain amount of time.

    It would also, however, offer a number of other great options such as diffing module versions, providing a way for users to track dev versions of a module etc. I don't think it ever should/could become mandatory for using CPAN, but a sanctioned central one could provide a good focus for our (somewhat overly) distributed model.

    Update: Just read xdg's comment about adamk's repository which I hadn't heard of (must look into). I think that to get some traction an "official" repositary with (more) guaranteed stability would be important.

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