MIA Team

This page is for internal documentation. Please always check for the readme file on qa.debian.org and keep it in sync with this page when editing!

For an introduction to the MIA team, see its team page.

The MIA Scripts

On the host qa.debian.org you can find several scripts in /srv/qa.debian.org/mia. The most important tool is "mia-query" where you can see the history from the person, which packages he/she maintains and the last-activity. This is accessible by DDs and useful even before contacting the team about someone. Maybe he/she is already being tracked by us.

Terms and Abbreviations

Missing In Action
Where Art Thou (or WaT: Where are They?)

Fixed ping-intervals

During the QA meeting we decided the following intervals:
(the indicated tags are possible status/prod-level for that email)

Trying to resume this on a table:




Next action in

First contact


Always remember to be gentle :-)


Second contact




Suggest orphaning


Send another mail where you mention something like orphaning, this is the most important step and _the maintainer has 30 days to reply_ to the e-mail.


Tell that you are going to orphan


Send another mail where you tell the inactive person that you _will orphan the packages in exactly 15 days_ if we don't hear anything from the person.


Orphan packages


Orphan all the packages and send another email .




Only for DDs and DMs: send the person a "Good-Bye" mail and set the tag "needs-wat", the DAM will then care about these people.


(All those mails *must* be signed)

There are templates for those mails at qa.debian.org/MIATeam/Templates. Improvements are welcome.

Team maintenance

If one package of the person is maintained in a team, at the step where we send the prod-mail we file a Bug of severity "minor" against the package, requesting that the person is being removed from the Uploaders/Maintainers-field.

Don't forget to set the mia-teammaint mia@qa.debian.org usertag:

User: mia@qa.debian.org
Usertags: mia-teammaint

How to get involved

You can already do a lot by informing the MIA team about possibly MIA DDs (and DMs and so on of course). We appreciate any help. As a DD you can also check with the mia-query tool on quantz for the MIA status of maintainers.

Joining the team means long-term involvement. The MIA process is about sending several mails per maintainer and, since they are usually MIA somehow :), they often respond slowly. That can lead to weeks or even months of latent activity. We can use another MIA worker but we want to be clear on this: we can only use volunteers who are committed to deal with MIA stuff really long-term.

Please also see Debian Developer's Reference's Dealing with inactive and/or unreachable maintainers and qa.debian.org:/srv/qa.debian.org/mia/README.


Mario Iseli wrote a tool called "mia-tracker" which is now also installed on the qa.debian.org-host and it has been added to the VCS. It makes possible to add a field like this to the ping-mails:

X-MIA-Tracker: 20071230 mario@debian.org

This means that a notification will sent to the address on 20071230, so you can easily track the periods. Please note that this script isn't really tested well until now, but it will be documented soon in the README file and tested.