First of all, I want to say I am really happy with this development! This is truly #FOSS working as intended.
Second, with that out of the way, I want to apologize for being unresponsive. After almost 15 years maintaining a piece of software by myself (with an amazing number of community contributions, of course! but carrying the #maintainer burden on my own (and this is the not only project I’ve been maintaining mostly single-handedly for over 10 years)), one which started as a hobby and a learning experience, I gradually drifted away from it — the project felt pretty much “done” for my own use, and expanding it towards other horizons (such as the next branch in this repo) would be another mini-project in itself, that I kept meaning to get to it “one day”.
At one point I realized that I had spent several months without looking at the “htop” folder in my mail client, and it felt like taking a sabbatical. At that point I thought, “well, that was refreshing”: in the meantime I was able to branch out to new projects and new ideas (which I really want to be able to carve out time to explore!). I quickly looked at the state of htop repo, saw the mounting PRs... thought myself, at least there are no critical bugfixes like the macOS craziness I’ve had to deal with in #682 (wow, 2018! I guess that was one of the last things I did here). That macOS bug which was very symbolic of the type of maintenance work I had to deal with in htop at that point in time: bugs for other platforms, new features for machine configurations I can’t test... you know, maintainer chores. Then I looked at the beta branch with unfinished work, sighed, and I thought “yeah, I’ll get back to this some time”. And then months flew by again.
During that period, the thought of handing over maintainership crossed my mind many times (as recently as last week, incredibly!), and I always thought “ok, but to whom? how do I go about this?”. And then today I wake up to the news of htop 3.0.0, which I got via Twitter! And I must say, my immediate reaction was of relief.
I guess here it’s a good point to make a note that might be useful for others: yes, burnout is a very real thing and for FOSS maintainers it can be hard to identify. I’ve experienced burnout at work before, and it’s easier to spot — because of the performance pressures — and to deal with — because ideally you have a supportive organization around you. For FOSS maintainers, the best-effort nature of the endeavor in most cases may make it hard for you to measure that effort, to balance your sense of duty to a community (that at times you built yourself!) to that of the effect it has on you (as in “why did I start doing this in the first place”). If you find yourself looking at your own FOSS projects and sighing, I guess that’s a sign!
Yes, it was reckless of me to have filtered all mail mentioning “htop” email to a folder (I realized that for LuaRocks I have different filtering rules where Github/mailing list/etc go to a folder but direct messages go to my inbox — that would have been a better idea!), and not looking at it for so long. I apologize to @natoscott and @fasterit who tried to contact me; I understand that forking the project must not have been an easy decision to make, and any response of mine might have made it a little easier.
I want to thank you all of you for taking on this initiative, starting from @afontenot for opening up this topic. I am extremely grateful for all the amazing feedback I’ve received for htop over the years. This has been by far my most successful project, it has brought me many many great things, and I think it’s indeed flattering to see it forked — I remember now saying once in a discussion about FOSS that “if something is unmaintained and important enough, it will be forked”. I guess this means htop is in a sense important enough to someone, and I’m honored for that. As I said above, that’s FOSS working as designed. I’m certain I could have handled things better from my side, but I guess all’s well that ends well!
I’m excited to see the project move forward, and I’m making myself available for any administrivia you folks would like me to do in the transition process (such as getting this repo transferred, so this one auto-redirects and the issue and PR history gets preserved, making the original website redirect to the new one (love the domain!), etc).
Thank you all once again, and here’s to htop’s future! Cheers!