#148 Consider guidelines specific to Forks
Closed: Fixed None Opened 7 years ago by kevin.

This came out of:
https://fedorahosted.org/fesco/ticket/810

FESCo is fine with forks as long as they are parallel installable and don't interfere with each other, however, FPC may want to add more specific guidelines on them.

Possible options:

a) Try and discourage/ask maintainers to try and avoid using forks if possible, but still allow them.

b) Require some level of infrastructure before allowing them to be packaged:
- N upstream releases
- A bug tracker
- A mailing list

c) require maintainer to follow the other upstream as well to help communicate and push fixes back into the fork.

d) Nothing at all, treat them like any other package.


Thanks for taking care of this. As I was the one who filed the initial FESCo ticket, I'd like to clarify some things:
Forks belong to Free Software. They are one of the basic freedoms that FOSS grants.
As we all know, many forks do not survive very long. Thing twice before importing packages into Fedora.
Fedora has a strong commitment to upstream. Upstream also includes the original of a fork.
Code should be forked for technical reasons, not for political ones.
Forked code should not lag too much behind the original.
We should not work around problems in packaging but fix them in the code.
As always, a maintainer should try upstream fixes and patches. If necessary, not only to the fork but also to the original.
Maintainer should be able to handle fixes for bugs and security issues by porting/cherry-picking them from the original.

Replying to [comment:1 cwickert]:

  • Code should be forked for technical reasons, not for political ones.

There were successful forks for political reasons, e.g. X.org in the past, so I'd be willing to drop this one.

A very good statement from Matthias on this: http://lists.fedoraproject.org/pipermail/desktop/2012-February/007518.html

The FPC does not see a need for additional guidelines relating to forks at this time, they should be treated like any other package. (+1:5, 0:0, -1:0)

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