What the fork means for a TWiki user

If you are a casual user — for example, someone who supports a production TWiki site for a client as well as a personal TWiki site — you may have stumbled across the posting on Slashdot about TWIKI.NET kicking out all TWiki contributors and followed links to wikiring, the irc logs, and so on until you ended up here.

What exactly happened? Learn about the events leading up to the split, and read the log of the IRC session where the new governance model for the TWiki project was announced.

So now a tool that has become important and useful to you appears to be spontaneously falling apart, most of its developers have forked off a new project, and you're wondering, what next?

Should I stick with TWiki or go with the new Foswiki project?

Underlying this question are the following key issues:
  • How do I judge which platform is going to be the most robust?
  • How do I judge which platform will progress most rapidly?
  • How long should I wait for Foswiki development to stabilise?
  • Is the open community model more or less reliable in the long run?
At this stage we are running as fast as we can to bring up a new site, develop a new release package, and establish the governing rules and procedures for the Foswiki project to help ensure that there will be no more radical shifts in the development community.

The democratic community model has worked for the TWiki community — including developers and other contributors — and has brought you TWiki version 3, 4.0, 4.1 and 4.2. (See Rod Beckstrom's book for more about the power of leaderless organisations). All the key TWiki developers are now working on the Foswiki project, and previously-active TWiki contributors are returning to work on the new project. Many ideas, plugins, and enhancements which were held back due to questions about the future have now been implemented in Foswiki or are on the horizon.

The release plan is still under development. The initial release will focus on rebranding the code base and special configuration topics to the new project name, while maintaining a backwards compatibility layer so that your plugins and applications will continue to work without modifications. We plan to introduce tools and scripts to make it easier to migrate to Foswiki and to upgrade in future.

How difficult will it be to migrate to Foswiki?

The Foswiki team is committed to remaining 100% backwards compatible with existing TWiki installations (and have a personal interest in keeping this promise, as they have their own TWiki user bases to support). KennethLavrsen, the former release manager for TWiki, is leading Foswiki's ReleaseTaskTeam, assisted by SvenDowideit.

For more information, see UpgradeGuide.

Will my own personal plugins continue to work with Foswiki?

Plugins that use the official TWiki APIs (such as the TWiki::Func Perl API) will continue to work in Foswiki with the TWikiCompatibilityPlugin installed.

With Foswiki, will there be any changes in how I upgrade from release to release?

At the current time, you should continue to operate your site as you always have. We will strive to make the upgrade as painless as possible — we recognise that most TWiki users seek security, continuity, and stability above everything else. Upgrade support from TWiki 4.2.3 and 4.2.4 to Foswiki 1.0.5 is currently planned.

What is the current status of Foswiki? How can I keep track of the latest developments (such as when a new download is ready)?

For downloads of the Foswiki product, please see the downloads page.

You will be able to follow the progress of the Foswiki project on this web site, as well as on the foswiki-discuss mailing list. If you are only interested in major announcements, you can join the foswiki-announce mailing list.

Email address

We welcome feedback from everyone interested in Foswiki: if you have something to say, please step up and say it. This project is for you.

Is there anything I can do to help with Foswiki?

We appreciate your investing some time on this web site, or sending us a cheer-up-mail. You can also donate some money for the project — every Euro counts.

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Topic revision: r27 - 22 Apr 2010, CrawfordCurrie
 
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