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. Wheeler likens forking to a parliamentary no-confidence vote or a labor strike.
Read more at The New Stack