g-octave: past, present and future

I started g-octave in the end of 2009, as a pet project. I was needing something better to deal with octave-forge software than the old sci-mathematics/octave-forge-* packages distributed by the gentoo-science overlay. In a few weeks it was already able to do the basic stuff: install/uninstall packages, manage the package database, etc. I had a lot of fun working on this project.

Some time after I start the project, the Gentoo Foundation announced the call for proposals for the Google Summer of Code 2010. I sent a proposal and it was accepted. This was an awesome job: improve the software I created and be paid for it. :o)

g-octave improved heavily during the 3 months of Google Summer of Code and I considered it ready to replace the old packages from the overlay, reducing the amount of maintenance needed.

But my amount of time available to work on this project reduced on the last months. I was busy with an internship at the start of the year, my bachelor thesis, and I also participated of the Google Summer of Code again, with another project. Now I'm starting a job and I don't know when I will have free time again.

Some people started complaining about the "lack of maintenance" of the project. The complains actually started almost a year ago, on the forums, but I don't read Gentoo forums at all. I just noticed this today, when someone moved the topic to the gentoo-science mailing list.

What this people can't see is that the project was created to reduce the maintenance efforts. I mean, it provides tools to allow people to install fresh software, even if the default package database is outdated.

Things like the --scm option and the script contrib/manage_pkgdb.py allow anyone to install new versions of packages and/or update the package database on GitHub, sending me a pull request to update the official database.

Everything is documented on the project website, but looks like this people don't read the docs nor the elog messages at the end of the installation of g-octave. This behavior results on users that don't know the features of the tool and that can't use it because forgot to run emerge --config g-octave.

This kind of behavior really annoys me.

I updated the package database, added a g-octave-0.4.1-r2 ebuild to the tree and closed a few bugs. Feel free to do future updates by yourself on GitHub and send me a pull request.

I don't know what will happen with the project in the future. The maintainer of the old-style packages retired from Gentoo and was bored of maintain these packages, IIRC. I stopped using octave a few months ago, and looks like I'll not use it for the coming months or years.

I'll still do whatever I can to keep g-octave working, but please be kind and contribute, instead of complain.


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