Long Term Maintainership and Consortium Forking

Open Source madness continues! With all of the changes taking place within a few of the worlds largest open source offerings, many are starting to ask lots of questions.  A bunch of those questions are about long term maintainership and how their own infrastructure will be affected. On the heels of two huge announcements from Red Hat and HashiCorp, there are now two large, promised communities that are asking “what are we going to do”?  Tom says these questions have already led to discussions about “consortium forking”.

Back in the day, forking open source software was often times viewed as a threat, leveraged by community members to get what they want from an open source software provider. According to Tom, forking open source software can be a good thing–sometimes.  This primarily if you’re forking the software to accomplish specific internal needs of your infrastructure. However, when a decision is made to fork a large, consortium based, open source entity, things get much more difficult–thanks to long term maintainership–and ultimately ends with the wholesale splintering of a community. Why is it assumed that this will happen, and is there a way to prevent it?  Listen to this episode to find out!

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