Github needs a community way of marking a repository as inactive or archived. I discover abandoned projects all the time. Of course maintainers should be able to override this. But in case of "don't care" or "lost access" or even "death of maintainer", there should be a way.

@sheogorath I know that they can be archived, but in case the account is no longer being used (for whatever reason) I would like to have a community way to be able to mark a repository as archived. Perhaps like a deadman switch on request.
Basic suggestion: a few people (not just one person!) suggest that a project is unmaintained. At that threshold, a notification is sent to the maintainer(s), giving them 60 days time to click a link that would just cancel it.

@amenthes @sheogorath a deadman switch could just be a small text snippet in the README: "I intend to maintain this project at least until {{date+6 months}}", updated by quarter-yearly commits.

I also often look at the date of the most recent commit when looking for projects on GitHub, so this plays nicely into that. :)

@daniel_bohrer @sheogorath every developer (caring or not) would have to do that themselves. That is not what I'm after.

@amenthes @sheogorath then I don't understand what you mean by "deadman switch" because actively having to do something repeatedly is in the definition of it...

@daniel_bohrer @sheogorath
- People (a few at least) see "this looks dead" (for example by commits or issue activity
- People raise the issue in some defined way
- Maintainer gets a chance to _extremely simply_ sy "still active" perhaps single click on a link in some email
- If maintainer does not do that within - for example - 60 days
THEN the project gets marked as archived.

Maintainer can at any point reset this, even after it was marked as archived.

@daniel_bohrer @sheogorath It's a slow process on purpose. This is designed in a way that's not really exploitable, because there's not really anything happening either way. But if a maintainer really does not care anymore (or is dead, or lost access or whatever) the project can get marked as inactive/archived/dead.

@daniel_bohrer @sheogorath and, yes, both are easily identified by last commit. But that is not always as clear. Sometimes a project is just in a very stable state and has very little activity. Sometimes the project has been dead but there's been commits to unimportant parts of a project ... and so on. That's why human intervention is preferable in my opinion.

@amenthes @daniel_bohrer @sheogorath I also wish a better way to discover more active forks if exist. Maybe show a list of actively developed forks at the bottom of inactive projects.
Problem is how to quantify that...

@daniel_bohrer I did this now on two of my projects [1], but opted for a "maintenance status as of" date instead, because I didn't want to decide how long the "maintenance expiry date" should be.


@amenthes Death of the maintainer is generally a use case that is not often well supported, but as the current generation ages, will become more and more important (doesn't have to be actual death, of course).

@amenthes Typically people open an issue inquiring after the health and activity of a long-unused project, and if you want to use an unknown project, you'll look at the issues in any case.

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