This was WordPress... before WordPress:
In 2003, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little forked "b2 cafelog" and created WordPress.
The First Version of WordPress.org
The First Version of WordPress Blogging Platform
Others soon joined Mullenweg and Little, including the originator of b2, Michel Valdrighi.
The project quickly took off and the rest is history.
WordPress is an achievement of the Open Source philosophy and showcases the power of forking code right.
48% of Technorati’s Top 100 Blogs Are Managed With WordPress
74.6 Million Sites Depend on WordPress
56 LANGUAGE Translations of WordPress
WordPress Is Most Popular With Business Websites
- What is Open Source & the Free Software Movement?
- What is a fork?
- How do you fork?
- Plus, How to Contribute
- Ethical vs Unethical Forking
THE OPEN SOURCE
Open source software is software that can be freely used, changed, and shared (in modified or unmodified form) by anyone.
THERE ARE MANY OPEN SOURCE Approved LICENSES:
The license under which the WordPress software is released is the GPLv2 (or later) from the Free Software Foundation. A copy of the license is included with every copy of WordPress.
What is the Free Software Movement?
The freedom to run the program, For any purpose
The freedom to STUDY HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS AND CHANGE IT TO MAKE IT DO WHAT YOU WISH
THE FREEDOM TO REDISTRIBUTE COPIES SO YOU CAN HELP YOUR NEIGHBOR
THE FREEDOM TO DISTRIBUTE COPIES OF YOUR MODIFIED VERSIONS TO OTHERS
WHAT IS A FORK?
In software engineering, a project fork happens when developers take a copy of source code from one software package and start independent development on it, creating a distinct and separate piece of software.
HOW DO YOU FORK?
FORKING ON GITHUB
FORKING ON BITBUCKET
FORKING on GitHub/Bitbucket
- Creates a copy of the forked repository in your own account
- Forking is the first step to contributing back to a project via a "Pull Request"
- Ability to sync with forked repository
- Free repositories are typically public & open source
PUBLIC VS PRIVATE REPOS
Public repos can be forked and downloaded by anyone
- Private repositories are not free and restrict public access
Allows you to interact with repositories
- Fork, Clone, Stash, Merge, etc.
- Command Line or GUI based
- Free & Premium Products for Mac & Windows
Most IDEs have Git integration built-in or available as a package download
WHY SHOULD YOU FORK?
- Saves development time
- Forking is the first step to contributing back
Improves your own development
Leverage proven codebases
WHAT CAN I FORK?
Free and open source software may be legally forked without prior approval of those currently developing, managing, or distributing the software per both
- With great freedom comes great responsibility
- There are literally thousands of plugins for WordPress that began their lives as forks
- Right vs wrong - Ethical vs Unethical is largely a matter of opinion & not the law
Forking it Right: cforms II
- Breathing new life into a plugin the original author abandoned
Providing free support on WordPress.org
Helping WordPress users dependent on cForms II
WHY IS THIS ETHICAL?
- Patched the security issue
GPL "Club" sites >:(
- Reselling Other's Premium Products
Near-zero Effort Involved
Confusing New WordPress Users
Hurting actual plugin developers
Taking, not giving
Offering Zero Support or Updates
WHY IS THIS UNETHICAL?
THE STORY OF GIVE
- Not competing with forked repositories
Large amounts of custom development done atop of forks
Core plugin will always be free
WHY IS GIVE ETHICAL?
- Continued contribution back to forked repositories
UNETHICAL FORK EXAMPLE
- Premium code turned free & gated with email lead capture form
Large marketing campaign & website at launch "gift from LeadPages"
Another funnel into LeadPages Paid
WHY IS RAPIDOLOGY UnETHICAL?
- Largely rebranded with near-zero code changes
While the GPL and it’s compatible licenses allow for forking, we have an ‘above and beyond’ rule for hosting here, that means your plugin must be a substantial change of the original. We do not allow direct copies of other plugins to be re-listed under somebody else’s name, we allow changed forks.
- If the project seems abandoned, try talking to the original author first and see if you can adopt the plugin
TIPS FOR FORKING IT RIGHT
Make sure you don’t violate trademarks or copyright
Give the new project a unique name so it is not confused with the original
Credit the original author within the source code and documentation
Make sure your new work is released under the GPL license.
Always remember spirit of WordPress community.
Additional Reading & Slides link
More on GPL & Forking
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