Removing stale packages

Maciej (Matchek) Bliziński maciej at
Mon Oct 13 14:42:48 CEST 2014

2014-10-13 13:33 GMT+01:00 Laurent Blume <laurent at>:
> I somewhat disagree on just that point. If a stale package is not a blocking
> dependency for another, and has no overly sensitive breakage (eg security),
> I think it's better to keep it.
> In my view, it's psychologically easier to get somebody to fix something
> already present than if they have the feeling they start from scratch (even
> though the actual work here is often the same if there is no recipe).
> Maybe because they can see it has worked in the past, so they can do it
> again?

Yes, I see what you mean. What we would want to signal to people is
that there is nobody taking care of this package and there will not be
anybody caring about this package, unless they do it. Package not being
in the catalog does send that message (I hope).

Which approach works better, should be possible to determine
empirically, but I don't have a good idea how. Maybe looking at the
past. Around 2010/2011 we had an influx of new people taken on the
project, followed by most of them not releasing any packages ever.
We've done some package cleanups, and there wasn't much reaction
either. I got contacted once about "why was this package removed?",
and it did not result in a new maintainer joining the project, so I
only have depressing examples for both approaches.


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