#2987 improve visibility of actions when orphaning packages owned by multiple packagers
Opened 5 months ago by abbra. Modified 4 months ago

https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/fesco/Policy_for_inactive_packagers/ states that if the main admin of a package is inactive packager, the package will be orphaned when inactive packager account is removed. Current process does not include any pre-notification of the other packagers. This is not helpful because most activity could be performed by other packagers and for a stable setup main admin role is not really important. Orphaning actively worked on package thus becomes not only a surprise but also a practical issue.

I would like to ask for improvement to the policy for inactive packagers to pre-notify the package maintainers that their package is going to be orphaned, at least 14 days before the act. This would allow packagers to handle main admin role, if possible, without dropping off the package to orphaned state.

Is the notification all you ask for? Or do you actually want to make it possible for the co-maintainers to claim the package before it's orphaned? Because somebody would need to process such requests.

@abbra The orphaning is basically required in order to allow comaintainers to assume the point-of-contact role from a technical standpoint. Given that orphaning sends a message to all maintainers, I'm not sure there's any better solution.

Note: orphaned packages are very different from retired packages. Orphaned packages that do not get picked up will EVENTUALLY get retired (after six weeks), but that is plenty of time for someone to step up.

See also https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/fesco/Policy_for_orphan_and_retired_packages/

I think with the issues we have in retaining and expanding Fedora contributors, being intentionally evil to package maintainers in this process is simply wrong.

I want notification to happen earlier than the orphaning process. In ideal situation, the notification would be enough to re-initiate discussions across packagers and reassign the package main admin role.

Also orphaning a package with multiple package maintainers opens a potential rogue act: if maintainers have not been prepared to pick up a package they maintain (vacation, holidays, etc.), someone may overtake the package very easily and kick off all the existing packagers. This is not good.

Given that orphaning sends a message to all maintainers...

Does it? I have not seen such a message after PkgDB retirement.

Given that orphaning sends a message to all maintainers...

Does it? I have not seen such a message after PkgDB retirement.

I can't say it works for all cases, but I certainly got a message about a package being orphaned that I was a member of (in that case it was an entirely expected orphaning, as the main admin had previously stated they were no longer active in Fedora[0]), and I "took" the package soon after the orphan emails went out[1]).

I saw the announcements of potentially inactive packagers on one/more of the Fedora lists I subscribe to, and I saw the list of potentially orphaned packages on one/more of the Fedora lists I subscribe to. Perhaps the issue is that some packagers are not subscribed to the correct lists in order to get the opportunity to see those advanced notifications?

[0] In response to the various emails from the process that had gone out.

[1] In that case, I explicitly choose not to ask the previous main admin to do additional work to transfer the package, as I knew I could pick it up.

Specifically, I did not get any communication myself as the other packager responsible for oddjob package -- not on devel@ nor on announce list nor directly. I only got notes from bugzilla that a bug was reassigned to an orphaned alias.

This is not an experience I want any packager to witness.

FYI, the scripting for this is at:


I'd definitely support adding some kind of ping to co-maintainers before orphaning.

I wonder, did the comment posted here not cause any notifications?

All co-maintainers should be been @-mentioned there, so it should have triggered pagure email notifications, IIUC? Did that not happen?

I posted that comment after @abbra opened this releng ticket: https://pagure.io/releng/issue/11406

@-mentioning should work for users who ever logged into pagure.io and thus created an account. For users that haven't it wouldn't have...

also, thats very late in the process. Thats 'this is orphaned' not 'this is going to be orphaned, get a new main admin'. :(

Right, in this case, the @-mentions happened after the fact, which seems more like an oversight in the process of the inactive packager removal, since for the nonresponsive maintainer process, this happens before the packages are orphaned, like here:


I think we can add another step in the process (sorry @bcotton ...) maybe one week before Final freeze (which should be ~1 month before orphaning packages).
I can make the script to add a comment to each nonresponsive maintainer ticket with the list of packages owned by user which are going to be orphaned and tagging co-maintainers.

However, the underling problem in the current process is that not all packagers are registered on pagure.io, so they might not get any notification.
See https://pagure.io/find-inactive-packagers/issue/1449

Metadata Update from @sgallagh:
- Issue tagged with: stalled

4 months ago

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