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Old 01-14-2008, 08:11 PM   #1
LXer
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Registered: Dec 2005
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LXer: Wackypedia: the Wikipedia fork


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The fork occupies an ambivalent place in the world of open source. On the one hand, it is widely perceived as the worst thing that can happen to a project, pitting hacker against hacker, and dissipating coding effort that could be more usefully applied in a united way. On the other, it is the ultimate test and guarantee of openness: if code cannot be forked, it is not truly open. Perhaps most importantly, it is the threat of the fork, hanging over projects like a digital sword of Damocles, that keeps them close to their constituencies, as free software's short history has shown time and again. The closest that the Linux kernel has come to forking, was during the famous “Linus does not scale” incident that began on 28 September1998 with the innocent question:

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