Yesterday, it was the news of the day: Magento CE 1.7 was forked on GitHub by some community people. After the spectacular departure of Yoav Kutner, then-CTO at Magento (TechCrunch reported), it was just a matter of time until Magento was forked. Indeed, as Vinai Kopp pointed out on twitter, there have been some forks of Magento already (project agent-ohm, a fork of Magento 1.3), but Mage+ seems to be another case.
What are the reasons of the fork of Magento? And what’s in it for the Magento community?
The reasons for forking are listed on the project’s GitHub page:
Mage+ was created for several reasons : 1. in order to accelerate development of the Open Source Magento Community Edition project via increased collaboration with the open source community 2. to provide a visible roadmap (with estimated release dates), which prefers bug fixes, stability and security over new or additional features 3. to provide bug fixes in a timely fashion, releasing patches as soon as possible - rather than waiting for new features to complete before release 4. to provide a simple and stable method to ensure that Magento CE users always have the most current, stable and bug free implementation - and eliminating painful upgrade processes 5. to ensure that all data within the application maintains the highest degree of integrity, and can be a reliable and creditable source of truth 6. to provide a viable LTS (Long Term Support) option to current Magento 1.x users who cannot or do not want to upgrade to Magento2
So the project’s aim is to help the original Magento project. GitHub is the largest social coding platform of
the world, and with its fork and pull model it’s very easy to add your code/patches to existing projects.
Indeed, Magento itself does have a code repository on GitHub but only does upstream commits from its internal svn (?) from time to time. So this one is not very active on GitHub, especially because patches from the community on GitHub are not quite possible. The repo was only some kind of (not regularly updated) mirror of the original source.
With the fork and the active management of the Mage+ repository it could be that the speed of community development on Magento could improve. On the other hand, Mage+ made some bold statements regarding the needs of the enterprise market like long term support (LTS) or a clear, visible roadmap.
But there’s hope that a lot of developers, agencies and system integrators will catch on the train and support Mage+. And if eBay (the not-so-young owner of Magento) can manage to support this, too and point its developer ressources ahead of the GitHub infrastructure, all those goals could become true in the mid and long term. Can this happen? Yoav Kutner already made some critical points here: „eBay doesn’t understand the meaning of Open.“
So, finally, this might be a new hope for the Magento community which has been feeling abandoned by eBay and now wants to go all-in with its newest fork.
How can you support this? It seems that the repo is currently managed by one person. So help him, fork the code and provide patches in order to make Magento better.
What’s your opinion? Would like to hear from you in the comments.