A few days ago, while migrating my stuff from a soon to be retired host to a new one, I reinstalled a lot of CPAN modules. That's how I found that a dependency of Bot::BasicBot::Pluggable failed its test suite (the migrated box was running the
meta IRC bots).
The blame for most of what follows can be put on Neil Bowers.
For reasons still unclear to me (actually, this is where the blaming of Neil Bowers should start, for he created the Monthly New Distribution Challenge 2014, which is probably the main reason, to be honest), instead of forcing the module installation, I looked at its RT queue, saw a relatively long list of old open bugs, went to the author's web site, saw that he was not doing Perl anymore... So I wondered if he would pass over maintenance of his CPAN modules... and simply asked by email.
In the middle of writing my email, I realized that I was about to explain a number of things (how to hand over maintenance, the role of the ADOPTME user, etc) that many a potential adopter would have to ask. So I turned to Neil B., and I asked him if he had a template for adoption requests. He sent me what became a blog post on the topic (and I learnt a new word along the way). Once I had it, I emailed Tom Insam, requesting co-maint on his URI::Title module.
To which he replied:
What a ridiculously helpful email. Wow. Thank you. :-) I've given you comaint. You're right that perl just isn't my thing any more.
Well, wasn't that easy? Neil's template seems to generate good vibrations. :-) Even after admitting that I didn't write it:
aaaah, it had a certain form letter feel to it. I like it.
After some more exchanges, Tom sent me an extract of an old SVN repository (after processing by
git svn and
git filter-branch, to protect both the innocent and the guilty), and I was able to recreate the whole history of the module since its inception ten years ago. Manually adding the tags (and finding out that the Changes file contained more releases than were actually published) was a little bit tedious, but comparing the dates in BackPAN (don't forget to use the same timezone settings when comparing dates!) and the files in Git with those actually released was sufficient to confidently add a tag for each of the published versions in my git repository for URI::Title.
I've then cleaned up the RT queue:
- closing already resolved bugs,
- applying several patches sent by helpful users,
- and recording feature requests for future releases.
While making the above list, I found another bug I could have fixed. New release coming soon.
Maybe Tom is not doing Perl anymore, but his modules live on.
And we can blame Neil for it.