How to deal with dead plugins?

Take the following situation: I need and want an extension of the Calendar plugin. It is worth noting that the Calendar plugin is just used as an example here, there are many others concerned. Usually, in full open-source manner, I would request the new feature from the author or implement it myself and offer a pull request to the author. But:

  • The original plugin is archived/readonly.
  • The official fork has, in my opinion, several problems.
    • The last commit was one year back.
    • There are 5 open issues, between 4 months and 2 years old.
    • It’s hosted on GitLab. I don’t have nor want a GitLab account.
    • I don’t see any way to contact the maintainer elsewhere. What if he ignores or refuses my request.

Going this way seams to be close to impossible and also absolutely pointless. Summarizing, this leads to the conclusion of creating an own fork and making the requested changes there.

The outcome

Well, I did my fork, it took my two hours of work to add my requested feature. But now, how to proceed? It’s not published, not yet. I cannot publish my Calendar plugin in the official plugin directory, beside the official implementation. Should I simply change the plugins name? I consider this as bad, as my plugin is a full replacement of the original. What else can, or should, I do?

I appreciate all your thoughts and hints.

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Personally, I think as long as you credit the original owner for his contribution, and a link back to original GitLab repo, i would think thats enough. Regardless of whether you change the name or not. I would even keep their name in the Author portion of Plugin.php and simply just add yours.


Agree. But what about the naming? There cannot be two plugins with the same name in the plugin directory.

Ya, then i would just rename it

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I did something similar with a plugin recently, where I merged features or extended from a dead plugin… in my opinion, if they have archived it, or they have not updated it in over a year… just mention them in the readme and make your plugin under a new name.

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I had a similar situation. I then contacted the author and suggested a take-over.

That worked out very well the last two times. Both, in my estimation, were happy to have someone continue the work.

So I would always just inquire. If nothing happens after let’s say 3 - 4 weeks and I really care: fork with friendly info to the author. And also give credits to the author.


Cheers, Fx

I see, but this is not what I want. I don’t want to takeover the plugin and do the maintenance in the future.
It’s hard to be responsible for a foreign codebase that you didn’t develop from the ground up, or you didn’t fully understand. I just want my features done, nothing else.