Forks activity in 2010

Dear Readers,

Fork is a strange word in Open Source : dev team don’t like it, are sometimes scared by it, but this is the advantage they use to comment an Open Source project perenity.

LibreOffice (OpenOffice), Mageai (Mandriva), MariaDb (MySql) … who is the next, this year or next ? (I put aside the Compiere/ADempier/OpenBraco and other recurrent forks of Compiere … too much).

Each fork has the same justification : strategy and orientation of the leading commercial company (Oracle, Mandriva).  The latest big “non fork” was JBoss … no fork when RedHat bought the project/company … may be because Tomcat is enough, and Jetty is a reliable alternative ? Any ideas ?

What is the current success of the forked projects ? I mean : who has migrated – or even tested – to MariaDb (for example) ? I will say Mageai is a different fork, but Ubuntu is already in the place (Linux workstation )

Beeing abble to fork a project is also a nice recognition of the project itself : if it can be recovered by a new team, it means the project was well written and well documented. Some other projects – Mondrian for instance – are not in this position, for obvious reasons, so there are new innovative offers – IcCube for example – that started from the ground with an immediate success (I mean, nobody cares about the engine … what is more important is to have a reliable designer interface along with a transparent engine to delivere the information)

In some areas, we can see a lot of communities projects that try to replace the old Open Source “community” edition, but in some case, they simply compete with the commercial Edition (not really Open Source Platform, I agree). How stand those community contribution : potential forks of the core product if the editor fails to delivere on time ? What is the limits between a stand alone contribution and a fork, especially when the leading company is changing its license policy ?

Your comment are welcome on this subject …

Have Fun !
Patrick

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