Forking should ALWAYS be done lightly and often, I highly recommend it.
If you think you know how to do something better, it's best to fork,
work it out, and if you come up with something, then work to merge it
back, if at all possible. If merging doesn't work, and it turns out
that your stuff works better, people will migrate to it, keeping it
Odds are, the fork will turn out to be a dead-end, and it will die off.
But you will then know the reasons why, and not be so upset when others
do things you disagree with.
That's the way evolution works, and it works quite well, it's why open
source works as well as it does.
-- Greg Kroah-Hartman
Desktop Linux distributions are trying to "own" 20 thousand
application packages consisting of over a billion lines of code and
have created parallel, mostly closed ecosystems around them. The
typical update latency for an app is weeks for security fixes
(sometimes months) and months (sometimes years) for major
features. They are centrally planned, hierarchical organizations
instead of distributed, democratic free societies.
What did the (mostly closed source) competition do? It went into
the exact opposite direction: Apple/iOS and Google/Android consist
of around a hundred tightly integrated core packages only, managed
as a single well-focused project. Those are developed and QA-ed
with 10 times the intensity of the 10,000 packages that Linux
distributions control. It is a lot easier to QA 10 million lines of
code than to QA 1000 million lines of code.
I've come to the conclusion that "good design" is not so much a matter
of finding the "best" of anything (font, spacing rules, colors, icons,
artowork, etc.). Good design is highly subjective to fashion, and the
people who are recognized to be the best designers are more often than
not just those with a strong enough opinion to push their creative
ideas through. Then other designers, who are not quite as good but
still have a nose for the latest fashion, copy their ideas and for a
while anything that hasn't been redesigned looks "old-fashioned".
-- Guido van Rossum
“I don’t see what could possibly go wrong” is a classic line in
both horror movies and distutils development <wink>.
-- Éric Araujo
(thanks to Zbigniew
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