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If the project is important enough for free soft in general, they'll find someone. If not, oh well, the cost for waste disposal of bit-rotted software project is rather small, no?

They had someone, who seemed to be doing a good enough job. Now they have to find someone else to do that job, while competing with a new fork of the code.

And the cost of obsolete code is not a bit of web storage; it reflects on the project as a whole. The GNU userland tools have been important for Linux. But what happens if people move to different user land tools?

It's not super important, but it is a shame that people leave projects.

Perhaps if free software and open source software had invested in a bunch of diplomats to translate the flames between De Raadt, Torvalds, Stallman, etc things would look very different today.

That sounds like a self-fulfilling statement.

There are other options than the two you've outlined. What if they find someone to maintain it, who isn't that good? How come the GNU Hurd hasn't yet been disposed of?

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