I came across a Python package that was rather popular (2000 or so GitHub stars), but most recently committed to two years ago. In addition, the module version in the Python Packaging Index is an outdated one. There are loads of pull requests waiting to be merged, many of them trivial or small improvements.
The code is rather poor in style, but works for what it was intended to do. I would be interested in maintaining such a package, but after a brief consideration and some refactoring my initial best attempt at a new package doesn't have much in common with the original. But I feel it's a huge step in the right direction, cleaner and easier to understand.
I struggled with the package when I was trying to use it. What should I do to create a better tool for everyone to enjoy and actively contribute to?
- Contact the maintainer?
He might be interested in handing the torch over, but if not... (in my case the maintainer's email does not exist anymore)
- Create a competing repository?
A new repository would allow for a fresh start, but as the current one is clearly an established tool and downloaded quite often, I would need to inform potential users of this new repository.
- Is commenting on the open pull requests and issues (effectively advertising another project) considered rude? As I used the old code in my own version, I could go through the pull requests and inform that the issue has been taken care of in the new version.
- What other options do I potentially have?
This is the first open source issue I've taken to heart and one that I might have a valuable contribution to make to. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
The Python Packaging Index does define abandoned packages, allowing for some contesting of e.g. the name of a package.