I noticed that various Fedora components we need to fix to keep building with compilers have been archived in gitlab.gnome.org. This makes it more difficult for other distributions to discover and consume our fixes.
There is no “archival policy”: maintainers can ask for archival whenever they want to communicate that a project isn’t maintained any more, and that there should be no expectation for bug fixes or releases. It’s usually up to the maintainers to ensure that the project they are archiving is in good state.
This is never going to work: compilers introduce new warnings/errors all the time, so the only way to cope with this would be to never archive anything until every distribution stops packaging something. GNOME doesn’t control the long tail of downstreams packaging their software on newer toolchains, so you’re essentially asking for somebody to always apply fixes and do releases, which is entirely opposite to the point of archiving a project.
Maybe we need a third space, something that is for (all) downstreams to use as a way to share downstream patches; something that doesn’t require keeping projects open for an indeterminate amount of time, and does not require upstream resources.
Normally when we archive a component, that’s a sign that it’s obsolete and distributions should stop packaging it. Distributions like Fedora still ship stuff like GLib 1 and GTK 1 from the 1990s so it doesn’t make sense to cater to their needs when deciding when to archive stuff.
Do you have an example of us archiving a repo that’s still important?
vinagre is obsoleted by gnome-connections and had been unmaintained for a very long time. I understand that most distros will keep building it forever as long as it continues to work, and therefore users will continue using it, but I don’t think it makes sense to pretend to maintain it on gitlab.gnome.org anymore. If somebody is interested in resurrecting it, they can theoretically always fork the repo to elsewhere (but I wouldn’t expect this to happen, because generally applications that people are interested in maintaining don’t get archived in the first place!).
I had actually never heard of esound, but I see the last commit was 14 years ago, so I think it’s safe to say that one really belongs in the archive. What is still using that?