Maintaining a recipe
As development of the ESMValTool continues, new features may be added, old ones replaced or retired or the interface of library functions may change when updating to new versions. This or for example the withdrawal of datasets used by a recipe can result in an existing recipe to stop working. Such “broken” recipes might require some work to fix such problems and make the recipe fully functional again.
A first contact point for the technical lead development team (@ESMValGroup/technical-lead-development-team) in such cases is the recipe “maintainer”. The recipe maintainer is then asked to check the affected recipe and if possible, fix the problems or work with the technical lead development team to find a solution. Ideally, a recipe maintainer is able to tell whether the results of a fixed recipe are scientifically valid and look as expected. Being a recipe maintainer consists of the following tasks:
answering timely to requests from the technical lead development team, e.g. if a recipe is broken
if needed, checking and trying to fix their recipe(s) / working with the technical lead development team (e.g. fixing a recipe might include updating the actual recipe, diagnostic code or documentation)
if needed, checking the output of the fixed recipe for scientific validity (asking science lead development team for advice if needed)
If needed, change the documentation to reflect that some differences from the original results might appear (for reproducibility reasons. e.g. some missing datasets in the fixed recipe produce slight differences in the results but do not modify the conclusions)
informing the core development team when no longer available as maintainer
Ideally, a recipe maintainer is named when contributing a new recipe to the ESMValTool. Recipe maintainers are asked to inform the core development team (@ESMValGroup/esmvaltool-coreteam) when they are no longer able to act as maintainer or when they would like to step down from this duty for any reason. The core development team will then try to find a successor. If no recipe maintainer can be found, the policy on unmaintained broken (non-working) recipes might apply eventually leading to retirement of the affected recipe.