Capitalism encourages scaling beyond the point where it makes sense or is healthy to participants, but capitalism is not unique here.

Even non-commercially-oriented foss projects, for instance, crave large scale and centralization even when it hurts people ("forking is bad").


Forking is good, actually. It allows groups of people with distinct needs to self-determine their own destiny. We should encourage forks of free software and support easier customization and alterations of projects, without imposing central control.

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What's also important is recognizing that different kinds of resources are available to different people, and some groups of users may not have enough spare dev time to maintain the code they need.

Just saying "fork it" with no means of support isn't enough, either.

This is why we "live in a society". The point isn't centralization for centralization's sake, or scale for scale's sake.

It's making sure those who don't have enough get enough, because those who have plenty are willing and able to share resources.

So if you feel the urge to suppress other people's perceived threat of a fork because it might fracture your community, remember that those fractures already exist! And you should spend your time helping the people on the other side instead of suppressing them.

@brion I think people so easily gloss over that just about every package in a Linux distro or homebrew, etc. are all forks of upstream. They might have patches for security or better system integration, use different compiler flags, and so on. Sometimes patches are first tried in a distro's fork to prove that they work before being accepted upstream!

Forks are great, they're one of the best ways to empower users via software freedom.

@brion ehh ... that is one extremely specific and rosy, cherry-picked description of what a fork is. Let's not pretend like it's all-encompassing.

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