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This directory is provided as a courtesy to our users who might be unable or unwilling to find and install libraries we depend on.

If we "fix" software in this directory, we hamstring users who do the right thing and keep a single version of upstream libraries in a system-wide library. We introduce subtle and maddening bugs where our code is "accidentally" using the "wrong" library version. We may unwittingly interfere with other software that depends on the canonical release versions of those same libraries!

Forking upstream software for trivial reasons makes us bad citizens in the Open Source community and adds unnecessary heartache for our users. Don't make us "that" project.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What should we do when we find a bug in upstream software?

A: First and foremost, REPORT THE BUG, and if possible send in a patch.

Watch for a release of the upstream software and integrate with it when it's released.

In the meantime, work around the bug, if at all possible. Usually, it's quite possible, if slightly harder or less efficient.

Q: What if the bug can't be worked around?

A: If the upstream developers have accepted a bug patch, it's undesirable but acceptable to apply that patch to the library in the extlib dir. Ideally, use a release version for upstream or a version control system snapshot.

Note that this is a last resort.

Q: What if upstream is unresponsive or won't accept a patch?

A: Try again.

Q: I tried again, and upstream is still unresponsive and nobody's checked on my patch. Now what?

A: If the upstream project is moribund and there's a way to adopt it, propose having the GNU social dev team adopt the project. Or, adopt it yourself.

Q: What if there's no upstream authority and it can't be adopted?

A: Then we fork it. Make a new name and a new version. Include it in extlib/ instead of vendor/, and use the GNUsocial_* prefix to change the namespace to avoid collisions.

This is a last resort; consult with the rest of the dev group before taking this radical step.