10 interesting open source software forks and why they happened
A benefit of open source software is the ability to take the code base of an application and develop it in a new direction. This is, as most of you probably know, called forking, and is very common in the open source community. For example, many Linux distributions can be traced back to either Debian, Fedora or Slackware.
Much of the open source software that is in popular use today was born from other projects. We thought it would be interesting to take a look at the history of some of these software forks and find out WHY they happened in the first place.
We looked at the WHY because software forking is often seen as somewhat of a waste of development resources and isn’t considered a good thing. Sometimes the results can be great, though, as many of the examples below clearly show.
Ubuntu from Debian
What: Ubuntu is the world’s most popular Linux distribution.
When: October 20, 2004
Why: Ubuntu was initially a temporary fork of the Debian project done so that a new version of Ubuntu could be released once every six months and therefore provide a more up-to-date system.