Is my project dead?


I took over the maintenance of Hubot and started to realize that it was dead.

Dead is a bit extreme. What I mean is when I first created a GitHub issue asking about the future of Hubot, it got little attention. But I just couldn't let it go. I created this one ~ a year later. This one got more traction and resulted in me getting maintainer access to the repo. I was off to the races.

I started to research the Hubot ecosystem. Starting with all the `hubot-` modules on NPM. I would search there, then click on the GitHub repo for the module. I was disheartened from what I saw.

Here's what Copilot has to say

There were a lot of dead projects. I mean a lot. I started to wonder if there was a way to tell if a project was dead. I started to think about the things that I would look for. I came up with a few things:

  1. When was the last commit?
  2. When was the last release?
  3. How many releases have there been?
  4. How many people are using the project?
  5. How many people are contributing to the project?

So I started to look for a way to get this information. I did it manually by browsing to NPM and GitHub repos. I started to think about how I could automate this. I started to think about how I could make a website that would do this for me. I started to think about how I could make a website that would do this for everyone.

So I did.

I'm on a journey. Let's see where this "is my project dead?" question takes us.

How to tell if your project is dead

  1. If you go to a website that's using your project and the most recent post is 2014-08-01 22:17, then it's probably dead.
  2. If you go to a GitHub repo of a project that depends on yours and you see a banner message saying, "This repository has been archived by the owner on Aug 10, 2023. It is now read-only", it's very likely dead.
  3. If 10 out of 15 GitHub repos that depend on your project have a banner message saying something like, "This repository has been archived by the owner on Jun 10, 2022. It is now read-only", it is dead.
  4. hubot-archive. 🪦
  5. If the thing that's using your project is using CoffeeScript, it's probably dead it might be alive and kicking but including a dependency that includes CoffeeScript (i.e. cypress, babel, testcafe) but doesn't actually use CoffeeScript, it might be dead.
  6. If you do 7 releases in 3 months and only 3 people post anything about it on your GitHub repo, it's probably dead.
  7. If you click on the link to a project and you get the GitHub 404 page, "404 This is not the web page you are looking for", it's totally dead 🪦 💀 .