[linux-elitists] Contributing to a Project with a Maintainer Who Doesn't Merge Contributions Quickly

Shlomi Fish shlomif@iglu.org.il
Fri Dec 26 09:15:34 PST 2008

Recently I started contributing to a popular and widely used CPAN module, 
which I'm also extensively using. My first patch involved adding some much 
needed and comprehensive automated tests. I wrote several versions of the 
patch, which I posted to the module's bug-tracker. It took several months for 
the patch to be finally applied, and when it was, it wasn't the final version 
of the patch, and I had to write another patch with the delta to the latest 
incarnation of my patch.

Now I have another patch with an enhanncment/bug-fix (somewhere in between). 
It is partial, and there's still some work to do there (which I can do), but 
again it has been waiting on the bug tracker for over two months.

Now, I can routinely reach the maintainer on AIM and IRC, and I feel that I've 
been bugging him enough about applying my patch. He's kinda busy with several 
other projects and a day job so this is expected. However, I feel that I'm 
getting worn out due to the long round-trip-delays of getting a patch 
applied, which are not due to a problem with my end.

I have some ambitious plans for enhancing the module, but I feel that it won't 
be practical to do it in the current conditions. I tried to soft-talk the 
maintainer into giving me repository access, but then the conversation got 
diverted into applying my latest patch, which he said he'd like to perform 
the next day. He didn't and it's been at least two weeks since then.

What are your thoughts about a situation like this?

Happy Holidays, everyone.


	Shlomi Fish

Shlomi Fish       http://www.shlomifish.org/
The Case for File Swapping - http://xrl.us/bjn7i

Shlomi, so what are you working on? Working on a new wiki about unit testing 
fortunes in freecell? -- Ran Eilam

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