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How do You Tell if a Project is Maintained?

shadowtime2000 profile image shadowtime2000 ・1 min read

How do you tell if a project is maintained? Is it commit activity release activity the rate at which maintainers respond to issues and PRs or a combination of that?

Discussion (9)

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Igor Montagner

The way I see it, it depends on what a "maintained" project looks like for you. For me it means there is a team is actively accepting new Pull Requests from other developers. There's also activity in the bug tracker and constructive comments on PRs. I consider specially important that the maintainers are currently accepting contributions. These mean that there's a community around it that still cares about the development of the software.

Some people are OK with one or two developers working on it on and off for the last few years. I would not base a commercial project on this, but it can be OK for small experiments or personal projects.

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Jackson Roach

I usually look at commit activity, build status, release and PR activity.

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shadowtime2000 profile image
shadowtime2000 Author

Does build status really apply though? I see many really maintained and popular projects with failing build statuses. Also by PR activity, are you talking about stale/no response on PRs?

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Jackson Roach

I guess build status doesn't really imply maintained, but if it's passing builds I know it's actively maintained.

Stale PRs is for sure a big indicator, but I think more important is PR's that are merged, as well as commits.

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Jonyk56

if maintainers respond to issues, and if it is archived

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Jaden Concord

I just look at the year of the last commit

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Michiel Hendriks • Edited

When a project is stable it doesn't mean it is no longer maintained. When there are bugs which aren't being addressed for a longer period, then a project is no longer maintained.
I've seen plenty really stable projects which did not get a commit in years, for which then a bug is found and fixed within a couple of days.
Old does not mean broken. For example zlib, last release was 4 years ago.

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shadowtime2000 Author

Just the year? What about month? I find projects that haven't had a commit in the last month or so are usually unmaintained.

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Jaden Concord

I think it depends on the size of the project. I don't really know but when I see that it's got a commit in the last couple of months it's probably maintained. But if it's a big project, then obviously a couple of months might mean it's dead.