I'm glad the people behind RubyForge have come out with a formal plan for handling 'abandoned' projects. I don't like the decision they made, but it's their's to make, so I guess I can't argue. Instead, I'd like to make sure I 'bus proof' my projects — if I get hit by a bus (or otherwise drop off the 'Net),
To me, running a project is both an opportunity and a responsibility. In starting several projects, I've taken on an obligation to the community, and if I just abandon a project I'm not fulfilling that obligation. (To me, while "Free as in speech" is more important than "Free as in beer", "Free as in puppies" is pretty important too.)
I'd like it to be clear that I want my project taken over and maintained. The immediate parallel that comes to mind is a Living Will. Here's my first cut at it:
If someone wants to take over this project, they should send email to me, the project administrator. If there is no response within one month, they should send email explaining the situation and asking for me to respond to the ruby-talk list. If there is no response from the project admin within one month I, the project administrator, direct the RubyForge administrators to add the requester to the project with full administrative privilege. If I do do not respond within a further month, the requester may then remove any administrative privileges for this project from my account.
After a bit of discussion around this idea, I plan on attaching a directive like this to all of my projects on RubyForge, and encourage everyone else to do the same. (Tom Copeland suggested that I put it in the Doc Manager of the project.)
I don't think this is just a problem (and solution) for the Ruby Community there are a lot of projects on Sourceforge, Savannah, etc. I'd love to hear comments from non-Rubyists too. I hope that given enough eyes and minds, we can come up with a standard directive (or maybe a couple of them) that can solve this problem.