There's a public FOSS library available online, which has not seen any commits by its author for about 3 years. 2 years ago the maintainer added a README.md comment saying he's sorry for being unavailable and will soon attend to bug reports and PRs. But - he hasn't. He appears with his real (?) name, a photo, and a link to a twitter page... with no tweets after 2019.

For now, I'm continuing work on that library in a public fork. My questions is:

Is it legitimate for me to try to "track him down", figure out how to get in contact with him - so as to ask him to unify the fork and the original repo? Or at least, to grant someone write privileges to the original repo for doing that work?

For now, people need to to notice an issue on the original repository saying "Please have a look at the new fork".

  • There might be good reasons for the person to go off the grid. If you find him, offer taking over the project. He might be relieved to find a new home for it. May 25, 2022 at 21:37
  • @ThorbjørnRavnAndersen: That's the whole point. Unfortunately it seems people (not you I guess) are downvoting instead of saying "No, I don't think you should do that".
    – einpoklum
    May 26, 2022 at 11:52
  • To be frank I think this is because of your phrasing. I'll try an edit. May 26, 2022 at 12:18
  • Also you may want to actually point to the repository in question. If it is public it should be fine. May 26, 2022 at 12:19
  • @ThorbjørnRavnAndersen: You've changed too much of the story, including incorrect facts... but never mind, I'll just let it go.
    – einpoklum
    May 26, 2022 at 13:02

1 Answer 1


Their priorities in life have changed, apparently. They might have found a job that makes a huge amount of money but takes 50 hours a week. They won’t be interested in maintaining an old project. Or they might be married now with two little children and one on the way. Same effect.

After three years your fork is the project.

  • He could grant commit privileges to the original project website...
    – einpoklum
    May 26, 2022 at 7:57

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