Why Do Open Source Projects Fork?

Open source software (OSS) projects start with the intention of creating technology that can be used for the greater good of the technical, or global, community. As a project grows and matures, it can reach a point where the goals of or perspectives on the project diverge. At times like this, project participants start thinking about a fork.

Forking an OSS project often begins as an altruistic endeavor, where members of a community seek out a different path to improve upon the project. But the irony of it is that forking is kind of like the OSS equivalent of the third rail in the subway: You really don’t want to touch it if you can help it.

Open source software developer David A. Wheelerlikens forking to a parliamentary no-confidence vote or a labor strike.

Read more at The New Stack


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