[opam-devel] current opam-repository policy : who can modify a package description

Fabrice Le Fessant fabrice.le_fessant at ocamlpro.com
Mon Feb 22 13:15:19 GMT 2016

Dear Jeremy,

On Mon, Feb 22, 2016 at 11:39 AM Jeremy Yallop <yallop at gmail.com> wrote:

> Is it fair to say that your concerns are primarily about notification
> rather than permission?

No, it is about permission. When I publish something on the OPAM
repository, I take some responsability for it. I don't want anybody else to
mess with my packages, and then discover problems that either I could have
discovered much earlier if I had been contacted immediately, or either
caused by a maintainer that didn't know how to fix a problem I had caused.
Am I the only one to care about that ?

>   The problem isn't that people are modifying
> other people's packages, but that the original maintainers aren't
> always notified.

As I replied to Thomas, would you like Github to modify the source code of
your application they are hosting, and just add an issue in your BTS to
tell you afterwards ?

> One thing I try to do when submitting pull requests that modify
> others' packages is to mention the GitHub username of the maintainer
> in the PR description so that they receive a notification.

Well, as I am watching tens of repos on Github, my mailbox is full of such
emails. I would not notice such a mention, unless I decide to read the
thread because the title is interesting. Direct mails would be much better.

> If the change is likely to be at all controversial then I wait for the
> maintainer to comment before merging.

That's should be the only way to modify a package. Or if the package
maintainer does not reply to direct emails after a week or two (in which
case either the package should be removed, or the maintainer could be

> This approach could be mostly automated, with a bot that retrieves the
> username of the original committer of each file from the GitHub API.
> However, I wonder if it'd be sufficient to add a note to the PR check
> procedure (https://github.com/ocaml/opam-repository/wiki/PR-checks)
> suggesting that opam-repository maintainers notify package maintainers
> when submitting changes.

Again, I think it is not about suggesting, as it is already the case today.

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