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- Subject: What counts as a fork?
- From: Paige DePol <lual@...>
- Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2017 07:26:48 -0600
Luiz Henrique de Figueiredo <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>> in your view if Soni made a copy of Lua and did not change the
>> language itself, but rather only the libraries or other non parser/VM
>> changes that does not count as a fork? Even if the new libraries offer
>> functionality not present in vanilla Lua?
> No, in both cases, it's not a fork. That's what the FAQ says.
Actually, the FAQ itself doesn't mention the word "fork" anywhere. It just
discusses what to call a derivative language, which is a different issue.
For example, GitHub defines a fork as simply as a copy of a repository:
"A fork is a copy of a repository. Forking a repository allows you to freely
experiment with changes without affecting the original project."
Another definition of fork, from the Linux Information Project:
"A project fork, also called a fork or forking, is the creation of a new
branch of a software development project that is independent of the existing
There are other definition out there as well, I mentioned the Wikipedia one
in a previous post. All of which define a fork as an independently developed
copy of the original project.
If someone copies Lua and makes any changes then by definition I would have
to say they've created a fork. The FAQ covers what name that fork can use.
Please don't think I am trying to argue with you... I was just surprised at
your definition of "fork" being valid only if certain parts of the code were
changed, which is not how I've understood the term to be used. However, if
that is the definition team Lua wishes to use then you might want to add it
specifically to the FAQ as it does not match the usual definition.
For clarification the terms "soft fork" and "hard fork" could be adopted
from the BitCoin community. A "hard fork" could be used for changes to the
semantics of the language, whereas a "soft fork" would be your definition.