Understanding the Launchpad workflow in case of an inactive maintainer

I would like to know what would be a good approach to the following scenario.
As an example I’ve got the perltidy package in Ubuntu where the maintainer “Don Armstrong does not use Launchpad.”.

Would it be best to write to the developer directly (who’s very active on the respective Github repo) and ask him how to help keeping the PPA maintained?
Or does it make more sense to write to the group with push access to the code base?

Greetings & Welcome.

Are you a developer yourself? If yes, I would recommend you to try to put yourself in the maintainer’s shoes:

  • You create a project.
  • You maintain the project yourself (with or without help).
  • You perhaps do not need PPA, but put your stuff once on PPA but don’t see the need for that anymore, so you stopped doing it.
  • Someone asks you, if you could continue to maintain the PPA.

I’ll answer this question as a developer, as if I were in his shoes, with several common possibilities, I usually hear from developers.

  • I don’t need it, so I don’t maintain it.
  • I don’t need it, but if someone is willing to maintain it, I am open to putting a minimum amount of effort in keeping the PPA alive.
  • I need it more or less, but I don’t have time for it.
  • I need it more or less, but I postpone it to a later time (most of the time, the schedule is very imprecise and vague).
  • I just stopped doing it, then haven’t thought about it.

These are the usual responses you would get from a developer. Other responses are of course possible, but these are the absolutely most common ones, I know.

So, if I were you, I would embrace the principles of communication:
Ask the developer what the situation is. Get to know what the developer’s stance is on the topic.
Once you know the reasons for their actions, you can plan further actions.
Whether it is asking other contributors with push access or maybe even helping yourself, it’s all up to how the situation is perceived by the mainly responsible developer.

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I actually am a developer myself, so it fits perfectly. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I’m going to get in touch with the main developer.

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