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An experiment in connecting unmaintained projects to potential developers
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Adopt A Project

This repo contains some code based on a simple idea I had recently for helping to connect unmaintained Open Source projects to people who may be interested in taking over them.

The idea works like this:

  • An unmaintained project creates an .adopt file that lives in it's source tree that is available somewhere online. This is a simple configuration file that includes details about the project and at least one contact person to help with the transition to a new maintainer.
  • The project can then use a simple web form to submit a direct link to the .adopt file to add it to the database. This web form is stored on the server in queue.list.
  • A script ( then processes queue.list, reads in all the .adopt files and generates a sqlite3 database that provides a searchable list of projects.
  • We then expose a simple web interface where someone can browse the list of projects or search by attributes such as programming language.
  • When the project is eventually converted to a maintained state (and is thus reflected in the .adopt file), it is then removed from queue.list and thus not scanned anymore.

Core Principles

The idea is for this project to be as simple as possible. As such, there are a few core principles at work here:

  • I don't want to maintain a major database and web service. As such, the database is completely destroyed and recreated with each scan of the queue.
  • The project list should be simple to identify projects that are of interest to potential developers. It is not designed to provide an extensive list of all details about a project.
  • The .adopt file should be really simple to add to a project.

Using This Code

Requirements: this code only requires CherryPy3 and the standard Python library.

There are two pieces to this codebase:

  • is the front end that displays the list of unmained projects, let's you add a project etc.
  • processes the queue of projects and updates the database (this would be run on cron).

To get you started we include some example .adopt files in \examplesadopts\ including a sample local queue.

To run the website, run:


This will spin up a CherryPy server at

You can now go to to add a link to an adopt file somewhere (e.g. This will now add this to the queue.list queue in the same directory.

Now, to process the remote queue run:


This will blow away the sqllite database and update it with the new list of projects.

If you would prefer to hack on this and only load the local example data (not fetching remote files), run:

python -e

You should then see a file call generated.html created that lists the projects that are not maintained.

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