4/8/2017 - 5:29 PM

Names developers call projects they no longer support.

Names developers call projects they no longer support.


As part of the effort to keep my github account clean, in 2015 I moved all non-original repositories to a separate organisation named potherca-contrib. This brought my repository count back down to a manageable level.

Since then, my repository count has been steadily growing. To bring those numbers back down again, I decided to move all non-relevant repositories to another separate organisation.

The first question was: how to name that organisation?

Creating a longlist

When looking for words used to describe projects that are no longer being attended to, I came across a question on the english StackExchange site that asked the same. There were some useful suggestions (and some less useable ones like "zombified") but only a few of them.

Some more searching lead to the list of moved ports in the FreeBSD Ports Collection. Each entry states a reason for why a port has been moved. I like "Developer's focus have moved elsewhere" best.

I didn't read all 9000+ lines but random sampling added more entries to the list.

I finished of by running a few word through a thesaurus.

This lead to the following list:

  • Abandoned
  • Cancelled
  • Ceased
  • Closed
  • Deactivated
  • Dead
  • Decommissioned
  • Defunct
  • Deprecated
  • Deserted
  • Discarded
  • Discontinued
  • Dropped
  • End-of-life
  • Expired
  • Forsaken
  • Given up
  • Inactive
  • Legacy
  • Neglected
  • No longer active
  • No longer available
  • No longer developed
  • No longer functional
  • No longer in use
  • No longer maintained
  • No longer needed
  • No longer supported
  • No longer under development
  • Obsolete
  • Old
  • Outdated
  • Redundant
  • Rejected
  • Removed
  • Resigned
  • Retired
  • Stalled
  • Sunsetted
  • Superseded
  • Terminated
  • Unmaintained
  • Unsupported
  • Unused
  • Vacated

Creating a shortlist

Grouping words together by meaning (more or less) with the word that appealed to me most in the lead, I brough the forty-plus words down to the following list of nine:

  • Abandoned (Deserted / Forsaken)
  • Ceased (Dead / End-of-life / Terminated)
  • Deprecated (Closed / Deactivated / Defunct)
  • Discontinued (Cancelled / Discarded/ Dropped)
  • Expired (Decommissioned / Retired / Resigned / Sunsetted / Vacated)
  • Inactive (Given up / Neglected / Stalled)
  • Legacy (Removed / Unused)
  • Obsolete (Old / Outdated / Redundant / Rejected)
  • Unmaintained (Unsupported)

Various words were too case-specific, generic or vague for my taste.

Removing those words further shortened the list to these five:

  • Abandoned
  • Deprecated
  • Inactive
  • Legacy
  • Unmaintained

Settling on a name

After some deliberation I settled on Abandoned.

Now... On to the task of moving repositories over...