18

Forking is not only a possibility of open source development, it's an express intention. If their fork is more popular than yours, this may be because they do something technically better than you, in which case you can merge back their patches if they operate under a compatible license. If they are doing something socially better than you are, take notes ...


15

Linus Torvalds has talked about his experience on this subject; the book Producing Open Source Software also has a section that deals with difficult people, which is mostly related. If you want to read more, look these up. Maintain control. How is it possible that contributors can do damage in the first place? Did you give them commit privileges without ...


12

Been there, done that. Why does it happen? In my experience, a split due to creative differences usually happens because different people have a different idea of what the project goal actually is, but nobody is aware of that. As soon as a contributor realizes that someone else's vision is different from theirs, arguments and power struggle will start, ...


9

If they're out-competing you, they've got something you haven't. This may be: more updates more in-demand features more contributors better publicity Whatever it is, try to find out what it is. If they're doing more publicity stuff than you, then increase what you do. Run things like community ads on Stack Exchange - they're free, and they get eyeballs on ...


8

Discuss, discuss, discuss This is absolutely essential. You can't solve personal problems digitally - so when I say discuss, I mean call a meeting. You need to sort out some things with him: Project focus If everyone has a different idea of where the project's going, it's obviously not going to work. This is the root of the problem. Discuss with him what ...


7

The main questions to resolve: Why did they fork? What's at stake for them? Similarly, what's at stake for you? You say they aren't receptive to your changes, but did they ever submit patches/pull requests to yours? Without communication, you cannot effectively collaborate, even if you share coding and technical styles. So if they are just determined to ...


5

Your project's come to life! Other people are very interested in working on it. The end result will benefit mankind, or at least the portion that needs whatever your project does. The alternative would be working hard on a project, and nobody cares. At least this way, your project will live, past the point you lose interest in it, or are unable to ...


5

One of the biggest incentives is to create well defined goals. With that, people will want to work towards something. With goals, people will understand their job, as well as what they would like to accomplish. Now, this one may sound slightly ironic, but to not lose momentum, you need to keep activity from a fair number of contributors. If someone feels as ...


5

Bring it up, clearly. This might seem obvious, but can't be stressed enough. If you are positive that the direction they taking the project into is incompatible with the vision of most, then this needs to be addressed. Make sure that other people are on board with mentioning it to them, so you form a unified front, but avoid making the problem contributor ...


5

The best way to deal with people who are ultimately being more of a bother than a help is to: First Talk to them. They may not know what they are doing wrong, talking to them may help solve the problem. Second If they still have not improved you may need to remove them from the project. Although this may be difficult, it may be the only thing to save your ...


4

The most comprehensive data I'm aware of is the 2017 Open Source Survey by GitHub. According to it, about a fifth of open source contributors have experienced a negative interaction in an open source project (e.g., rudeness, namecalling or outright harassment), and almost a half have witnessed such an interaction.


4

This question asks two questions: 'is it a problem?' and 'are there studies'? I offer a response to the former. All internet communities are at risk of hostility. As a subset of internet communities, Open Source development projects have, at least, the same risks as anything else. Some Open Source communities work hard to avoid these problems. A core value ...


3

Fork their fork and make it even better! Take all their changes and add the stuff that people ask for and get denied and you will soon be the real deal again .. this fork is brought to you from the original developer of XY .. don't forget to thank the guys! ;-)


3

One aspect about keeping momentum is to always keep current on the latest features, and to ensure you support the people who are most dynamic in the areas of interest. I found this with JDOM (Java XML library - it is unfortunately a good example of how to stifle the momentum). A lesson learned there is that you have to ensure you keep reasonably relevant ...


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