Package Maintainers

Package maintainers are responsible for ebuild maintenance tasks — bumping ebuilds to new upstream releases, updating them as necessary with regards to policies, replying to bugs, etc. The maintainers of a package are listed in the package's metadata.xml file. When assigning bugs, the first maintainer listed becomes the bug's assignee and the remaining maintainers are added to CC, unless stated otherwise in the metadata.

Maintainer authority

Package maintainers have authority over their maintained packages. Unless specified otherwise, you should request maintainers' approval before committing to their packages. Try filing a bug, catching them on IRC or sending a mail first. The exceptions to this rule are trivial changes implied by your own actions, e.g. dependency updates as a result of package moves.

In case of maintainer inactivity, it is a good idea to consult other developers on how to handle the situation, especially if it is a critical issue that needs to be handled ASAP. A customary tool of maintainer timeout may be used in this case. This timeout can be invoked if none of the package's maintainers reply to a patch within 2 — 4 weeks of it being attached or linked to a correctly assigned bug, or being sent to the maintainer.

Respect developers' coding preferences. Unnecessarily changing the syntax of an ebuild can cause complications for others. Syntax changes should only be done if there is a real benefit, such as faster compilation, improved information for the end user, or compliance with Gentoo policies.

Adding and removing maintainers

All packages newly added to the Gentoo repository must have at least one maintainer specified. New maintainers can only be added with their consent. In particular, it is not acceptable to add generic projects (such as the Python project) as package maintainers without the approval of their members or against their explicit policy.

Maintainers without commit access are called proxied maintainers. Their changes must be pushed by a Gentoo developer, who acts as their proxy. All packages maintained by proxied maintainers must explicitly list their proxy developer or project in metadata.xml.

When adding new maintainers or removing old maintainers, please remember to reassign bugs. The last maintainer to resign from maintaining the package must place a <!-- maintainer-needed --> comment in metadata.xml, in order simplify finding unmaintained packages. It is also required to send an 'up for grabs' email to the gentoo-dev-announce and gentoo-dev mailing lists, providing a list of newly-unmaintained packages.