I really need to gather my thoughts about the topic, but I would be glad to read your opinion.
Way to often I bump into Open Source projects that drive me nuts.
This time it is pylibdmtx a Python project used at one of my clients, but there are many more.
What disturbs me is that this project has 14 Open Pull-Requests and 31 Open issues (as of this writing on 2023.05.05) the last commit on the project was 2022.03.15, more than a year ago. 8 of the PRs and 10 of the issues were opened since the last commit.
The issues indicate that people are using the package and the PRs indicate that some people are willing to help improving it. However, the developers/maintainers don't seem to respond. (Though admittedly I have not checked if there were any responses to the issues and the PRs, but I guess if there was any activity we would also see commits.)
So what's the status of this project, why are contributions no dealt with? Have developers/maintainer moved on to some other project solving the same problem? Have they deprecated this project - at least for themselves? If so, I think it would be nice to add this information to the
README so others who use this project can also move over.
Do they still use the project but don't have the time to deal with its development?
Assuming this is still the best solution for the problem, what could users do?
People who need some of the fixes can make those fixes and use their own fork of the project using the same name.
Forking the project and changing its name is possible, but with most projects that would not be easy and besides if this package is actually not a direct dependency of my code then the intermediate packages also need to be changed to use the new name. A huge can of worms.
I think the ideal would be to become a maintainer of the project. That can be a lot of work, but way less than forking and renaming the project. It would be also a lot more valuable to the community than if the project was forked.
In a nutshell I think the continuation of the project is the question here. How can the original developers or the current maintainers make sure that the project can live on even after they move on?
Anyway, I am not sure what is the solution, but there is a problem.
So what do you do when you encounter a project that you use but that has not seen any development activity lately?