TWiki - FOSS turned sour

KwangErn Liew ke.liew at
Wed Oct 29 13:25:14 UTC 2008

On Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 2:07 PM, Carsten Agger <agger at> wrote:

> >
> >
> > As a heavy user, it's quite disheartening that a FOSS project doesn't
> > adhere
> > to democracy and transparency resulting into a fork.
> >
> > I have yet to hear projects forking in such a tremendous way.
> >
> >
> >
> Well, free software projects have no obligation to adhere to a democratic
> process, they choose whatever governance they want. If users don't like
> this, they are free to develop the software in their own way. I don't
> think the copyright holders of free software or managers of free software
> projects should have or feel any obligation to use a specific process.
> This without going into the specific matter. If TWiki is going a bad way
> and alienates the community or parts of it, the fact that people are able
> to part ways and continue working on it just shows the benefit of free
> software.
Very true. Totally agree.

>From what I gather, most developers have been having disagreements with the
founder for many years (since 2003 or earlier). The community has been doing
their best in keeping the project and have spearheaded major changes along
with the founder and its commercial entity for the past months. Note that
the founder has done little to the overall codebase for many years.

However, for the lack of communication and responsibility, the recent
announcement from the founder has completely disregard the efforts of the
core community, including the developers, and in turn forced a fork on the
community's part. They had 2 summits in the past to address this issue in a
mature manner. And the most recent one in Berlin ensured the betterment of
TWiki, however it all turned upside down.

The founder's commercial entity has somewhat forked the code, but now wants
to take control of the OSS project as well and not adhering to the voices of
community at large.

Am sure there are many legal implications as well due to the fact that
everyone must adhere to the new T&Cs before any contribution to the TWiki
project. And unfortunately, the core devs are pulling out from this new T&Cs
and forking the entire project.

Yes, it's beneficial to be able to fork. But it has many other implications
behind. Also why the core community has refused to fork in the past. But now
it has gone to the point where trust has been damaged between the core devs
and the founder.

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