[OSGeo-Discuss] scale of FOSS projects
lblake at ksninc.com
Tue May 6 16:49:24 EDT 2008
I chose my words poorly. This is what happens when I am in a hurry. :]
A fork is the ultimate evil in the sense that it diverts resources like
time and money. "United we stand, divided we fall."
It is the ultimate good in the sense that it prevents any one
organization for asserting complete control over a project.
So I guess it all depends on one's perspective.
It would have been better for me to say that the THREAT of a fork is
very powerful, but that an actual fork is usually a bad thing for the
community at large. There are exceptions to this rule.
My opinion is, of course, colored by my own personal experiences.
Imagine what UDig and OpenJUMP might have accomplished if they were a
single program now?
From: discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On Behalf Of P Kishor
Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2008 1:44 PM
To: OSGeo Discussions
Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] scale of FOSS projects
On 5/6/08, Landon Blake <lblake at ksninc.com> wrote:
> I think the ability to fork open source code puts a real limitation
> the ability of any one entity to create an "open source monopoly".
> are the ultimate evil in the open source world, but they sometimes
> become the necessary "nuclear option". ..
I am finding it difficult to add up the above statement. Is forking
"evil" (a very strong word especially when prefixed with "ultimate")
or is it good (as implied by "necessary" in front of "nuclear
> One open source program that I can think of that survived a
> serious fork is Inkscape/Sodipod, with Inkscape now being what
> I would call an successful open source project.
As described above, it seems to me that forking is the ultimate
check-and-balance device which ensures longevity, as much as possible,
of an OS project, and protects against lock-in. In that sense, it is
the "ultimate good."
Puneet Kishor http://punkish.eidesis.org/
Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies http://www.nelson.wisc.edu/
Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) http://www.osgeo.org/
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