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Howto abandon rights to a cpan module and stop getting bug reports for it?

by Anonymous Monk
on Apr 06, 2012 at 08:53 UTC ( #963791=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??
Anonymous Monk has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

I sympathize with RubyKat who cannot support HTML::TextToHTML anymore and is tired of getting bug reports about it.

It has been a long while but IIRC PAUSE doesn't exactly have a way to abandon a module, so how does one abandon a cpan module and stop getting bug reports for it?

  • Comment on Howto abandon rights to a cpan module and stop getting bug reports for it?

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Re: Howto abandon rights to a cpan module and stop getting bug reports for it?
by Corion (Pope) on Apr 06, 2012 at 08:55 UTC

    The good way would be to find one of these bug-reporting users (as they, obviously, care about the module more than you do), and make them into the maintainer.

    The bad way would be to simply delete the distribution from CPAN.

    Update: It seems that RubyKat already has given maintainership to someone else and removed the file from CPAN. Then I'd release an updated version of the module that does not contain my email address, to obscure my authorship.

      What about pure unadulterated abandonment aka the Baby Moses option?

        The issue is that until a new version is uploaded, or the existing version deleted, your email address will appear in the POD and META.* files. I think deleting it is the least effective option (ignoring the social issues for a moment). Because if you just delete, existing users will never upgrade, and thus will always have your email as their contact point. Backpan would always have your version as the latest too.

        One option would be to post to the mailing list asking someone to step up. If that produces nothing, try the following steps:

        The more socially conscious (and probably more effective) solution (assuming you are unable to find a new maintainer) would be to upload a new version. In the AUTHOR section or bugs reporting section place a note that the module is currently no longer being maintained nor supported, that support requests will go unanswered, and that if there is someone wishing to take over maintainership to please follow the steps outlined in the "TAKING OVER" section of the PAUSE documentation, with the understanding that you are granting your explicit permission for full priviliges to be transfered.

        If you know of a module that is a better solution you may point to it as well, and as final steps, mangle your email address to, and post another message to announcing your resignation, so to speak, and your explicit intent to allow the transfer of authority on the module to the first person who asks for it.

        I'm no authority on PAUSE, but these steps seem like they would be socially acceptible, effective, and would possibly result in the module finding a new life with another maintainer.


Re: Howto abandon rights to a cpan module and stop getting bug reports for it?
by szabgab (Priest) on Apr 07, 2012 at 07:46 UTC
    I don't know of a good way to abandone a module but I could volunteer to take it over. I'd release a new version of it - mentioning that the module needs another maintain.

    That hopefully will eliminate the e-mails for you. Contact me as SZABGAB

Re: Howto abandon rights to a cpan module and stop getting bug reports for it?
by ikegami (Pope) on Apr 07, 2012 at 01:56 UTC

    You can remove modules from CPAN. They will still be available on backpan for those that need them, but it will clear that they are unsupported.

    Bug reports come from CPAN's RT. CPAN provides an RT queue for each module that don't specify one, so another solution would be to specify an alternate bug tracker in the META file.

Re: Howto abandon rights to a cpan module and stop getting bug reports for it?
by JavaFan (Canon) on Apr 06, 2012 at 22:15 UTC
    I'd upload a new version, with an email address you don't use for anything else. Make it clear in the documentation you're no longer supporting the module, and that all bug reports will be ignored. Redirect any incoming mail on the email address to /dev/null.

    Unfortunally, that will not be the end of it. CPAN has a no-opt-out RT system for all modules. You will be getting RT tickets for your module (as they will be send to the address you have registered for your CPAN account). Mark Lehmann can tell you all about it -- his rants against the no-opt-out policy of CPAN are famous.

Re: Howto abandon rights to a cpan module and stop getting bug reports for it?
by Anonymous Monk on Apr 07, 2012 at 22:08 UTC

    I just installed Statistics::Sequences, and watching the install process I noticed that Math::Cephes is an abandoned module.

    When the installation was finished, I went to investigate what was up with Math::Cephes. It was immediately obvious what happened, as I remember when Randy Kobes died I seen news about it. I knew his name as I normally use the CPAN interface at UWinnipeg.

    I think it would be nice if someone could at least alter the POD for packages that Randy Kobe "abandoned", to mention that he is no longer with us.

      Seems like the solution would be to have a timeout on CPAN modules. If the designated owner didn't log-on to CPAN within some time period, an email is sent to their registered PAUSE email account. If no response is received after some period, the module gets flagged as abandoned and the first person to register interest get maintainership.

      For time periods I'd probably go with something like 6-months and one month.

      With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
      Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
      "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
      In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

      The start of some sanity?

        It'd be even better if CPAN even allowed a "default trust" model that has been so successful on the internet. I'd flag all of my modules as "default trust" so anybody who felt like I wasn't doing a good enough job of maintaining my module could upload a new version.

        Add to that various time-outs so if I never respond to new uploads then those who do the work of uploading can get ownership power over the module name(s).

        Heck, let me set the time-outs. How long before a non-author upload becomes official and gets indexed. How long after I upload a new version of a module (or even "refresh" a module as "still up-to-date") before non-author uploads can become official and get fully indexed. How long before a new uploader is automatically declared an authorized maintainer (and thus can set their own time-outs or approve others' uploads).

        If I don't configure a specific time-out for a module, then that time-out wouldn't apply to it (CPAN would behave as it does now -- valuing ownership far above contribution and discouraging collaboration).

        Though, I'd prefer to require a new version be uploaded and not allow an empty declaration of "still up-to-date". But I suspect allowing the latter would be more successful, at least at first.

        - tye        

Re: Howto abandon rights to a cpan module and stop getting bug reports for it? (The Lancaster Consensus: pause HANDOFF/ADOPTME /NEEDHELP )
by Anonymous Monk on Oct 02, 2013 at 23:45 UTC

    According to Re: CPAN module giveaway there is some form of support for this now with the "The Lancaster Consensus"

    Its not clear if email stops being forwarded like the ABANDON MINOS option idea , but at least they're thinking about the problem :)

    • ADOPTME as primary: this generally indicates a deceased author. Volunteers can request a takeover via

    • ADOPTME as comaint: this indicates a verified, non-responsive author. The community may propose that a package be so marked following the same rules as for a take-over (i.e. multiple attempts to contact the author and a request via Volunteers can request a takeover of an ADOPTME module via without an additional waiting period.

    • HANDOFF as comaint: this indicates that an author wishes to permanently give up the primary maintainer role to someone else

    • NEEDHELP as comaint: this indicates that an author seeks people to help maintain the module, but plans to continue as primary maintainer

    With the exception of a 'takeover' from ADOPTME (which must go through, CPAN authors must manage these comaint privileges using the regular PAUSE interface.

    An author may also voluntarily transfer primary or co-maint to ADOPTME to indicate that PAUSE admins may transfer permissions immediately to anyone who requests it.

    The Annotated Lancaster Consensus | David Golden

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