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The Open Source Junkyard

The Open Source Junkyard

RailsConf 2014 Chicago
About how gem maintainers need help else gems get abandoned and it hurts the end-user (us).
Was a lightning talk but I prepared, but we ran out of time.


Benjamin Fleischer

April 24, 2014


  1. The Open Source Junkyard Benjamin Fleischer

  2. Where do the gems we use come from?

  3. ! ! ! !

  4. People. Like me and you.

  5. We depend on altruism ! ! ! ! •

  6. Important code maintained by only a few

  7. So many ways to leave a gem behind

  8. There’s no gem maintainer hotline nor gem clearinghouse

  9. A tweet for help

  10. Maintainer Classifieds

  11. Abandonment notice in README

  12. ! ! ! ! Users ask about maintenance

  13. Posting on a list

  14. Leaving behind the abandoned

  15. Trusting a contributor

  16. Accidental ownership

  17. Github commit isn’t enough

  18. Taking Ownership • 1) Get repository (GitHub) commit / ownership

    • Need GitHub username. Add to access group. • 2) Get push access • Need email for account • gem owner -a • 3) Rubyforge? Mailing List? Twitter account? IRC?
  19. Transferring ownership

  20. Curating contributors

  21. can only do so much. It’s a lot of

  22. How do I complain help out?

  23. Bless a fork Otherwise there’s no place for people to

    contribute back to

  25. Let’s Discuss: ! rubygems-style-guide/wiki Benjamin Fleischer

  26. The Twitter Gem and Ruby Hero Erik Michaels-Ober • Further

    Reading: • grep for maintain • ERIK: It was basically just a giant yak shave. I think I just started working on it and then I said… So I … and then just <yadda yadda> so I just became the de facto maintainer of that. • KATRINA: What’s the most challenging aspect of maintaining a big popular project like the twitter gem? • ERIK: I don’t know. To me, I love it.
  27. None