There is this popular open source project that maintains a language specification.
That latest changes to the specification were done six years ago, and, although the specification did not officially reach an official v1.0 release, this specification was taken advantage of in most cloud-vendors CLI tools.
Since that time, the original maintainer ignored pull requests and issues and never offered feedback despite repeated attempts to contact him through his various projects.
Last year, I assessed interest from the community and offered to maintain the spec and steward change proposals with the goal to bring improvements. Seemed the community was interested but I could not follow through due to time and priority constraints.
Recently, early this year, I committed to maintain the spec and steward change proposals going forward. With help from members of the community, we actually forked the various repositories and did the following changes:
- Rebranded the language specification to
<popular-language> Community Edition.
- Created a process from which accepted enhancement proposals automatically generate the public-facing website.
- Gathered most requested changes, categorized them and initialized discussions with the goal to have the community vote and provide feedback.
At this point, I reached to all past interested members of the community. This was a clumsy step on my part as it was sometimes interpreted as SPAM. One piece of feedback I had from members of the community, though, was to know if this was a hostile takeover and if, indeed, we had tried to reach the original maintainer before working or our own fork.
That’s when the original maintainer chimed in and offered to continue working towards his original implementation. Although by this time we had broken the fork relationship, I actually published all the relevant changes we had made in our forks around typos to the website, modernized automated generation tooling, references to implementation libraries, etc. as pull requests.
This was one month ago and the original maintainer did not offer feedback any more. He did not acknowledge a simple question as to whether he needed help or more time or anything.
At this stage, I feel stuck.
On the one hand, our work on the "community" fork is effectively stalled. On the other hand, the original specification project does not appear to be maintained in a sustainable way nor with a steady-pace as was evident from the past six and half years history.
What would be a correct way to proceed forward with our fork without coming across as too aggressive and not alienate the community?