[Catalog-sig] Policies for packages where the author is unavailable

Ian Bicking ianb at colorstudy.com
Sat Oct 22 21:20:51 CEST 2005

Ben Bangert wrote:
> Several packages out there, including Python Paste, and several I'm  
> working on have dependencies on a Python package called WSGI Utils.  
> Unfortunately WSGI Utils is not packaged for setuptools and the  
> Cheese Shop, nor have I been able to contact the author about having  
> it added. The name also needs to be changed to WSGIUtils as the space  
> appears to cause problems.

Colin has applied some changes I've sent to him, but I haven't heard
back on a couple things I've sent him since then.  Oh well, it happens
to all of us at times.

> What is the policy for having packages adapted to setuptools, and put  
> on Cheese Shop in absence of official registration from the package  
> author?

Since I don't notice any responses to this, I suppose that means there's
no policy.  I think I've brought this up before, for the same kind of
reasons -- inaccuracies in entries (usually URLs), abandoned entries, or
missing entries.

Anyway, you can have multiple people with ownership (or at least admin
access) on an entry.  So I think it's okay to set up an entry (which in
this case would point to your own package, probably with a version
number that somehow distinguished it from the version it was [lightly]
forked from).

> In the case of WSGI Utils, the license appears to be a BSD license so  
> I see no license restrictions preventing the redistribution from  
> Cheese Shop. It would be nice if there was some policy in place for  
> people to be 'maintainers' of a CheeseShop package in the case the  
> author is either not interested or unavailable to do this themself.

I say just go for it -- since there's no entry there's no problem at
this point.  Also, send Colin a note about it, and an offer to add him
as an owner for the entry (I don't think you can set up an account on
his behalf, so you can't actually add him as an owner until he has his
own account).  Then he can unfork whenever he feels like it, as is his

In the case of an abandoned entry, it's more complicated; you either
have to create a new entry (with a new name), or there has to be some
process to take over the entry.  I would generally say that an entry
should only be taken over if the author or owner of the entry is
entirely missing for some time -- any other condition would be
considered a fork (and should have a new name).

Ian Bicking  |  ianb at colorstudy.com  |  http://blog.ianbicking.org

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