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Crypto Terms:  Letter F
Jun 19, 2023 |
updated Apr 03, 2024

What is Fork (Software)?

Fork (Software) Meaning:
Fork (Software) - the development of a new program using the source code.
2 minutes

Let's find out Fork (Software) meaning, definition in crypto, what is Fork (Software), and all other detailed facts.

In the context of software development, forking refers to the development of a brand new project or program using the source code from another software. This creates a new software path by splitting it into different versions, i.e., creating forks. Forking is common among open-source software development communities.

The source code of one program can be used to develop several forks as different developers follow their own directions to improve the source project or aim to replace it altogether.

Developers can use an open-source code or the legal copy of a code from a software package to start the process of working on a new program. The use of open-source code ensures the legality of the process.

Developers using an open-source code do not breach any copyright laws and are not required to get permission to fork the software from the distributors or initial developers. The software developed as the fork is released to the community. It typically acts as an improved version of the source software and may provide more benefits to the users.

Some fork projects may lead to conflict within the developer community due to differing views. The clash can then transfer into the overall community, with users choosing to use or boycott certain forks. In some cases, the community splits are amicable. However, it isn’t uncommon for developers to garner resentment.

If the fork projects become increasingly competitive, developers may choose to close the code and prevent it from being shared. This can lead to issues related to ownership, copyright, legality, and legitimacy. Competing developers may envision different project directions.

Some developers are granted permission to use proprietary software for forking. Such software must be licensed by the copyright owners who maintain the exclusive legal rights to the project. Developers must have explicit permission from the copyright owners to create a fork that serves as a new, updated version of the software.