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TWiki forks

2008-10-28 by ColasNahaboo in Koala
fork1.jpg
Well, it has finally happened, the dual-faced Janus what makes both the beauty of Open Source projects, and its Dark side, have come to visit the http://twiki.org twiki Project. The http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forked Fork is here! Strangely this time, it is the project founder, Peter Thoeny who "forked out" most of the active developers of the Open Source project by locking them out of the project. Ironically he seemed to have so much dreared a fork that he finally decided to provoke a "preeemptive fork" to clear things out, and reach an often seen configuration where a private company sells a product based on an Open Source offering, with a community knowingly contributing to enhance a product belonging to a single company, but getting a better product in return. This is not a bad situation in itself, for wikis it is already the case with http://xwiki.com xwiki and http://wiki.mindtouch.com/ deki, the problems came in TWiki case as the company came very late in the picture, and could be seen as "highjacking" the TWiki built by the community.

We will see what happens, but I would like you to read the excellent article made nearly a decade ago, http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Licensing_and_Law/forking.html WHY LINUX WON'T FORK - And why being able to fork is still A Good Thing. If all goes well, it will end up in more technical directions explored, each project incorporating the good ideas of the other one. If not, the crisis will show the bad side of many people, and will discourage contributors watching from the outside 2 communities dying from the lack of a critical mass.

As I was asked to take sides, I chose the "fork" camp, as I feel that it is where lies the heart of the community that actually made the modern TWiki. We will see how it evolves, but the beauty of open source is that both projects will be able to use the advances of the other one - if one do not end a proprietary fork. May we live in interesting times!

For more info, see: In the news: On the blogs of:

Update: The definitive name is FOSWIKI

foswiki As of 18 Nov 2008, the community we decided on the new name: Foswiki - Free and Open Source Wiki. This was chosen after a vote process to chose a name with com/net/org domain names available, and not infringing on a trademark in both US and Europe (this is why we couldn't keep the temporary name nextwiki, as it was a registered trademark of NextEngine, Inc).


Topic revision: r16 - 09 Feb 2009, ColasNahaboo
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