Non-responsive maintainer?

Bernhard Reutner-Fischer at
Fri Jun 5 10:10:54 UTC 2020

On Fri, 5 Jun 2020 at 05:41, Jody Bruchon <jody at> wrote:
> Understood. Be well.
> On June 4, 2020 9:45:39 PM EDT, Eli Schwartz <eschwartz at> wrote:
> >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
> >retaliation?

Let me add that development and maintenance of busybox is done by
volunteers in their spare-time.
All of us have a day job and other stuff to do, too :)

That said, this is not a cathedral as you certainly are well aware.
The busybox community, as well as any other opensource project
obviously, lives by helping each other, by proposing improvements by
means of tested patches, by the community to comment on, discuss and
test proposed patches, by reporting bugs, making sense out of reported
bugs and analyze them and maybe propose fixes.

It would be nice if you folks on the list who feel that the rate at
which patches are reviewed is too slow to help in reviewing, improving
and testing those patches.
This would speed up the review rate and, as a bonus, would maybe even
let you learn new stuff, learn code-size improvement tricks or make
the world better overall.

So: Please involve yourself more closely in the project, like you
would foster any other opensource community project.

PS: Furthermore don't forget that Denys is doing this stuff for more
than 10 years now and in these years has "donated" quite alot of his
spare time to the project. One usually does not hear "thanks alot for
your continued dedication" when being maintainer.

Just a thought.

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