Tree fasting

Since I’ve been working on my tinderbox, I have found lots of packages that are unmaintained both for what concerns ebuilds, and upstream. This actually reminded me a lot of my first months within the multimedia teams (sound and video), during which I have found so many bad implementations that I was, for a while, renamed “the package undertaker” — I think Jeremy (Darkside) has now this title though, thanks to treecleaning.

Up to now I really left it to the actual maintainer (or treecleaners) to remove the broken package from the tree; but since it seems like many developers don’t seem even to care about removing the broken packages when they stop maintaining them, I’ve finally decided to take the matter in my hands, and started looking at the packages to last rite.

This mainly involves old ebuilds, untouched but for batch fixes for the past years, failing with the stable glibc, and with huge QA violations in the ebuild. So that the packages won’t be removed just for fun, I’m giving them 60 days to be fixed and salvaged instead of the standard 30. This hopefully will be enough to save the important useful stuff and get rid of the stuff that is only dragging down the Gentoo quality average.

While I’m absolutely in favour of keeping everything in a single, huge tree (I dislike overlays and I have already said that many times) there is one way we can reduce the amount of problematic software in the tree: removing the stuff that is desperate and that will never be up on par with the rest of the packages, and refusing to add software if it doesn’t look like its QA issues can be solved (even if that means not having software that users might demand in the tree until somebody goes around to fix the issues).

So this goes out as a warning: if you care about a package that is going to be removed for QA reasons, you’re very welcome to step in to fix the problems with it, we’ll be glad to keep it in the tree (unless, of course, it depends on a whole chain of software that should disappear, like for instance aRTs, ESounD and GTK+ 1.2).