Taking over maintenance of a software package

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007fc8c1991df8> #<Tag:0x00007fc8c19ab140>

Authors: Scott Chamberlain

Software is maintained by people. While software can in theory live on indefinitely, to do so requires people. People change jobs, move locations, retire, and unfortunately die sometimes. When a software maintainer can no longer maintain a package, what happens to the software?

Because of the fragility of people in software, in an ideal world a piece of software should have as many maintainers as possible. Increasing maintainers increases the so-called bus factor. A lower number of maintainers means fewer people have to get hit by a bus to then have no maintainers.


Read the rest at https://ropensci.org/blog/2019/06/12/taking-over-maint/

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twitter feedback:

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twitter feedback from @orchid00:

@orchid00 thanks for these! We’ll add more detailed instructions/suggestsions for these in the developer guide, but for now, here’s a quick response to the unresolved issues comment

In case the previous maintainer is reachable scheduling a meeting before take over will be extremely benefitial for new mainteners.

Good idea!

As new maintener, there are a few unresolved issues from the package that I don’t know how to fix, who may I ask for help?

It depends:

  • if the old maintainer can be contacted: reach out to them, and ask for help
  • ropensci slack: good for getting help on specific or general problems, the #general room is where many ask questions
  • ropensci discussion forum: this forum is a good option, feel free to ask any questions here
  • ropensci staff: feel free to get in touch with one of us via slack/email/pinging us on github issues, we’ll be happy to help
  • of course there’s general R help too: Stackoverflow, Twitter #rstats, etc.

Any venues/methods not mentioned above that should be?

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