To follow a larger development project, there are a certain number of things you can do:
- Sign up on the project's mailing list(s) and follow the current discussions. Sometimes there are both users' lists and developers' lists. You don't need to send messages to the list, you could just lurk and read what people are saying and observe how things are discussed and how decisions are taken. I tend to also sign up to commit message lists and bug mailing lists, if these are available for subscribing to 1. You will start to pick up names of frequent contributors after a while, which may be useful while reading commit messages later.
- Dig into the mailing list archives, if these are available. Sometimes these may even be searchable, so you could possibly use that to do your history research to some degree.
- Check out the source code from wherever this is located, and build it (you don't actually have to install it). Have a look at changelogs or "news" files if you're interested in history. Learn how to check out the project for particular revisions, dates or tags, if you want to do source-level inspections or comparisons. Read commit messages.
The GNU coreutils "homepage" is at https://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/coreutils.html
The mailing lists available are listed on that page, and there are links to searchable mail archives.
The project has a Github repository at https://github.com/coreutils/coreutils and you could easily use that to fetch any release (note that the code depends on the
gnulib submodule). You could also "watch" the Github repository to get email notifications when new commits are made (this corresponds to signing up to a commit mailing list). This would also, I believe, make you receive copies of issue reports done via Github (there's a separate bug-reporting mail adderss, so issues posted on Github are likely ignored).
Depending on what you want to do in terms of learning more about the history of the project, the
NEWS file in the Github repository may be a good first stepping stone in any history-related research, for this particular project.
su was removed from coreutils in 2012. This was found by searching through the output of
Author: Jim Meyering <email@example.com>
Date: Fri May 25 18:10:25 2012 +0200
su: remove program (util-linux is now the best source for it)
I find no mentioning of
runuser in the Github commit logs for coreutils. I suspect that it references coreutils only due to being a "stripped down version of
su", which used to be part of coreutils.
1This means that I get about 2000-4000 emails a week for the projects I'm interested in, most of which I don't read more than the title of, if even that, but sometimes there are interesting things even in commit messages.