Using git (and witnessing other people’s use of it through github’s social coding) has led me to have a different perspective on forking. I overheard someone say at GoGaRuCo that “fork is the new friend.” When you fork someone’s code you are saying that you admire what that have done, that you like it enough to invest time in it. You modify something, add a feature or fix a bug, then send a “pull request.” This is typically the beginning of a collaboration.
I’ve been thinking about this after reading a conversation on the RailsBridge list last week about whether the groups was “forking” the Rails community and negative perceptions by some and fears of divisiveness. I prefer thinking about it as a way to invigorate a part of the Rails community.
“We’re creating a fork in order to develop and submit patches back, but with
community models instead of code.”