Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton lkcl at
Fri Jul 4 08:26:15 GMT 2003

if any group of individuals feel the need to fork, then it has
more to do with a failure of the way the project is managed
than anything else.

consider that it's possible with cvs to do "double-branching",
as outlined in an earlier advogato post on double-checkouts
under two separate tags in the same directory (files from one
tag mixed with files from another).

consider now that we have subversion, which provides
"double-branching" even on directories, not just files.

consider also that a web site has the ability to be edited such
that it may provide links to two closely related projects just
as easily as it can provide one, or is there something about
the web server that project developers are using such that it
can only manage to present one project?

why, when there is no technical restriction on what may be done,
why the bloody hell should you have to fork?

basically, if you have to fork, it means that the people you
are forking from are incapable of being flexible, and that both
you and they have failed to negotiate a perfectly reasonable
sharing of space.

in other words, someone has all the power, and doesn't want
to give any of it away.

in other words, you should look at putting in place a
"development charter" similar to the Apache Software Foundation
one, which mandates a number of things - not least that
developers must respect each other and also that developments
may only be rejected on technical grounds and no other.

if it's a REALLY large project, of over several million lines
of code consisting of dozens of separate protocols and programs,
you may wish to modify that to "technical or strategic grounds".

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