Non-responsive maintainer?

Eli Schwartz eschwartz at
Fri Jun 5 01:45:39 UTC 2020

On 6/4/20 9:01 PM, Jody Bruchon wrote:
> If things hang for too long, I'd be willing to fork the project and
> maintain it so it can keep on chugging. I'm not as good as Denys
> though. Can't promise my mailing list replies will be bottom-posted
> though ;-)

Why are we YOLO forking busybox again?

The last commit by Denys was 2 weeks ago, not 4 months:

As a general rule of thumb, one should really not be forking and trying
to take over a project rather than having it granted by the previous
maintainers. You'd need to have a very good rationale to convince people
to follow the fork, and for a pretty important project, also a pretty
sterling reputation in addition to a lengthy history of contribution. On
which note there are people with a bit more than 3 commits, who may be
somewhat more reliably invested in its future.

"I think the maintainer died of COVID-19" might be a good reason, but
you should probably wait a bit longer before deciding that... sometimes
people are just busy, you know?

The previous commit was April 30, 3 weeks before the latest one, which
is now 5 weeks ago today, and corresponds to Denys' most recent post to
this list:

The push before that was on February 26, the tail end of a couple of
weeks that saw a flurry of activity, then nothing again between February
13 and January 29 (several patches landed that day), then other than one
patch on January 14, nothing since December 3.

tl;dr there's nothing deviant about this activity pattern. It also, from
a cursory overview, roughly corresponds to Denys' activity on the
mailing lists. Nothing deviant there either.

So if you feel this is problematic and busybox could use more activity,
then I'm sure you can all start a discussion about how its developer
doesn't prioritize it enough. But can we not start wild conspiracy
theories about him disappearing? And can we not threaten to fork it in

Eli Schwartz
Arch Linux Bug Wrangler and Trusted User

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