Update: After i posted this 'Pants' posted a comment on the repo that seems to have a very different ring to it than his initial comment. It appears that he's really just asking for help and not suffering burnout as i had thought. Let's hope that help arrives. Now back to the regularly scheduled programming...
Many of us who work on tedious projects that demand a lot of our time experience burnout and i suspect that few people appreciate how much time and how tedious a project like that taken on by 'Thorin-Oakenpants', a.k.a 'Pants', and 'earthlng' actually is.
Web browsers are large, complex beasts and the web is a very dynamic environment. Browsers are constantly evolving and keeping abreast of the changes and risks to our privacy is a formidable challenge for anyone and especially so for a very small team of enthusiasts, yet this is exactly what 'Pants' and 'earthlng' have done for the benefit of all of us for the last several years.
The arkenfox/user.js project was opened on GitHub in early 2017 and the project roots extend quite a bit further back than that. The GitHub repository currently has 11 official contributors and many more behind the scenes, over 1400 commits and 48 releases. It has been forked 144 times and counting. To my knowledge it is one of the first, well organized and comprehensive projects focusing on protecting user privacy and increasing browser security for Firefox.
While many people have contributed to the project, the bulk of the load, to my knowledge, has always been shouldered by 'Pants' and it appears the burden has taken a toll. This morning while reading my email i found this post by 'Pants' where he quietly appended the following:
Could do with some help
Otherwise I don't know if I can be bothered with any of this anymore, and I'm prepared to shut the repo down (archive it) and get on with my life, or just stop doing anything here - that's the one and only time I'll mention this: it's not a threat, it's just a reality. I'm not an expert or genius, my knowledge is limited, and I can't be expected to do this on my own.
And if the potential loss of 'Pants' isn't devastating enough, 'earthlng' also seems to have grown tired of it all, stating in a post, "IDK and IDC, and frankly I don't want to do this anymore".
Whatever 'Pants' and 'earthlng' decide to do is more than fine with me. Their contributions to this project, along with those of so many others, have had a significant impact for many of us in this age of despicably intrusive data harvesting for the benefit of corporations, governments and "intelligence" communities. I wish them well and i appreciate the massive amount of time and effort they have poured into this project. Thank you.