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Re: master bef1be8: Fixes for "Maintainer:" and related lines

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: master bef1be8: Fixes for "Maintainer:" and related lines
Date: Mon, 20 May 2019 08:39:34 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/60.6.1

On 5/20/19 7:40 AM, Glenn Morris wrote:
It is long-standing Emacs convention that if there is
no Maintainer header, the Author is the maintainer. See elisp node
"Conventional Headers for Emacs Libraries".

I didn't know that. However, that node doesn't match existing practice as it goes on to say, "Some files in Emacs use ‘FSF’ for the maintainer.  This means that the original author is no longer responsible for the file, and that it is maintained as part of Emacs" despite the fact that no files in the Emacs source code use "FSF" for the maintainer (either before or after my recent patch).

Also, it appears that many (most?) people didn't know about and didn't follow the convention. Not only did the convention not come up in discussion until now, it's quite common to see comment pairs like the following, which are the first five remaining instances of "Maintainer:" lines in Emacs's .el files (sorted by file name):

;; Author: Markus Rost <address@hidden>
;; Maintainer: Markus Rost <address@hidden>

;; Author: David Ponce <address@hidden>
;; Maintainer: David Ponce <address@hidden>

;; Author: David Ponce <address@hidden>
;; Maintainer: David Ponce <address@hidden>

;; Author: Richard Kim <address@hidden>
;; Maintainer: Richard Kim <address@hidden>

;; Author: Kevin Gallagher <address@hidden>
;; Maintainer: Kevin Gallagher <address@hidden>

and this indicates the authors were following the opposite convention that a file without a listed maintainer is being maintained collectively.

All in all I think it'd lessen confusion and simplify maintenance if we used "Maintainer:" for contacting current maintainers who aren't authors and don't normally read bug reports. Something like the attached proposed patch, say?

Attachment: 0001-Adjust-Maintainer-doc.patch
Description: Text Data

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