Non-responsive maintainer?

Alexander Dahl ada at
Mon Jun 8 12:27:46 UTC 2020

Hei hei,

Am Montag, 8. Juni 2020, 10:13:29 CEST schrieb Vincent Breiner:
> My apologies for coming off rude. It wasn't my intention to undermine
> Denys's long and significant contribution to the project nor to suggest he
> should be replaced. Yet, if you look at the previous three months and the
> ones before that, there _is_ a clear deviance in activity. Not to mention
> the last commit was a CVE fix which is clearly important but is not a good
> example of handling routine patches from the mailing list. Generally
> speaking, the current pending time for a patch seems unusually long, how
> come such an important project only has one active maintainer?

From my experience, busybox is no different here than a lot of other important 
free software projects. I could name a few just from the top of my head, and 
it's probably easy to list a lot more. I guess it's always some sort of: 

1. project works fine with one single maintainer, until …
2. nobody cares enough to co-maintain …
3. project receives no funding/donations … (remember GnuPG?)
4. …

Before forking (and attracting yourself a lot of work, maintainership requires 
time, dedication, responsibility, responsiveness, …) I would suggest the 
following (as already said by others):

- review patches, this can basically done by everbody, you don't need 
permission to reply to a patch on a public mailing list and add your 
'Reviewed-by:' (you should of course do a good review, and maybe build up 
trust in your reviews takes some time)

- test patches (Tested-by: is certainly also welcome)

- if you want to help the maintainer: offer your help

Sometimes, there may be reasons to fork a project, but in most cases I saw in 
the past, there would have been no real need. Talk to the maintainer and find 
a way to support the existing project, that's possible most of the time.

Kind regards

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