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Re: Losing faith in CPAN - unresponsive module authors

by xdg (Monsignor)
on Jun 25, 2008 at 17:17 UTC ( #693993=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Losing faith in CPAN - unresponsive module authors

A few years ago I wrote about this in Responsibilities of a module author. I think it still holds true today. It would be ideal if authors were more responsive, even to say that a patch or bugfix isn't a priority. Unfortunately, not everyone is. I hope you won't let a few bad experiences color your perceptions.

When I've encountered this in the past, after a few months, if it's a problem I'm really motivated about, I send the author an email asking about the status of the patch. If I don't get a response, I send a similar email once a month or so. (Not a long email -- like two sentences with a link to the RT entry.) In most cases, I've gotten responses back -- usually an apology for being too distracted to work on it.

In other cases, somewhere between three and six months or so, I've offered to release the patch as a dev version if the author would give me co-maintainer rights. And I continue to make that offer every couple months. (That's how I wound up inheriting a number of modules, I'll admit.)

Some people may say that this is too much harassment, but I don't think a 2-sentence email once a month is inappropriate. I'm a "customer" -- albeit for a free product -- and some responsiveness, even to say "I'm not going to fix that" is a reasonable expectation, I think. Obviously, if the author says "go away, I won't fix that" then I wouldn't pursue it, but that hasn't been my experience. Usually authors are just legitimately busy with @life and $job.

If I get no response to any of these emails, then I'll try other ways to contact an author and if that fails, then if I'm still motivitated, that's when I think it's appropriate to appeal to the PAUSE maintainers for co-maintainer rights.

-xdg

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Comment on Re: Losing faith in CPAN - unresponsive module authors
Re^2: Losing faith in CPAN - unresponsive module authors
by autarch (Hermit) on Jun 27, 2008 at 03:07 UTC

    As the author of many CPAN modules, I would be thrilled to have this sort of reminder.

    Fortunately, if people actually read my module docs and do what they say (put request in RT), I can review them later when I have time and interest.

    However, if something is important to you, reminding me once a month or so is definitely not a bad thing.

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