When to Fork and When to Spoon

Bryan Sant bryan.sant at gmail.com
Tue Mar 7 10:14:52 MST 2006


On 3/7/06, Hans Fugal <hans at fugal.net> wrote:
> On Tue,  7 Mar 2006 at 07:23 -0800, Jonathan Ellis wrote:
> > I was in this situation once.  I did a total refactor of a sf project
> > (ImportScrubber) and the owner said, Great!  You're the new maintainer!
> >
> > So be careful. :)
>
> Heh. Well I wouldn't really mind that, so long as it doesn't offend him
> in the process.

That was my question -- are you OK with maintaining your
new/refactored code base?  Sounds like you are.  I think you should
fork and give an honorable mention to the guy who developed the
original code.  You will likely be more invested in your own code that
works the way you want, and this is good for other OSS developers and
users who want to consume a high-quality and well maintained lib.

Postfix, Exim, etc. are all "rewrites" of sendmail.  Why do we need
another MTA?  Because most would agree that sendmail falls short in a
number of areas -- and fresh MTA implementations have been a good
thing.  There is no harm in others refactoring, or reimplementing, the
same concept (maybe even using the sendmail codebase to begin with). 
I think the code you're working with falls into the "sendmail" or
"XFree86" category.

Just my opinion,
-Bryan



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