Re: About to declare 'unmaintained'


I just wanted to reiterate what Bera said.  Unfortunately it's been a
long time coming, and I had the revelation fairly recently that our
meager maintenance efforts were simply not going to keep up with the
positive forward progress of other projects upon which we depend, like

Adam asked about bounties.  There doesn't appear to be any official
bounties system, although some are posted informally here:

But there doesn't appear to be a comprehensive system similar to Elance.

A couple people mentioned whether Novell or Canonical (Ubuntu) would
fund Beagle development.  I used to work at Novell, and I had the
great fortune of working on Beagle pretty much from the start.  For a
couple of years there they paid two full time developers to work on
the project: Jon Trowbridge and myself.  When Jon left the company, it
was just me -- although there was occasional part-time help, like Dan
Winship's excellent work on the search UI.  Since I left Novell nearly
two years ago, there has been none.  I think it's safe to say that
Novell no longer has any dedication to the project.  I don't mean that
as a dig -- having worked on Ximian and SUSE distributions you have to
make strategic and tactical decisions where to put your resources,
since you can't hack full time on everything.  It appears clear that
desktop search hasn't panned out as they thought and that experimental
projects like Dashboard, Association Browser, etc. aren't feasible.

As for Canonical and Ubuntu, a number of releases ago that community
decided to go with Tracker instead of Beagle, I believe in part due to
a major backlash against Mono following the Microsoft/Novell patent
agreement.  Although I think Beagle is still for the moment ahead of
Tracker in terms of core user functionality, Tracker has a vibrant
development community backed by open source companies whereas Beagle's
is completely stagnant and bordering on nonexistent.  If I were an
impartial party trying to decide in which to invest development
resources, Beagle is simply a tougher case to make.

Having said all that, please don't let me stop anyone from making
those overtures.  Nothing would make me happier than to see the old
dog get a new lease on life. :)  As Roger said, maybe it can do so
with a reimagined focus.

Like I said, I've gotten to hack on Beagle from the beginning, which
has been five years (!) now.  I am very proud of the work I've done
personally, and that we've done as a community.  I have my regrets
too, both technical and non-technical.  But I've also moved on with my
life and I hack on other stuff now, and I don't personally have much
interest in returning to full-time Beagle development.  I take great
comfort in the fact that we created the first user-centric search
system on Linux, and that it is open source software.


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