Steve Burge

6 reasons why I’m not much interested in forks

I’ve been heavily involved with Joomla and, to a lesser extent, Drupal for a good number of years now.

During that time, I’ve seen forks come and go but they’ve never really sparked my interested. Here are 6 reasons why:

#1. Money. I’ve kids, a wife and a mortgage so I need to pay the bills. There’s rarely enough money in small projects to pay the bills and forks are always small projects.

#2. Open source. I’m far more attached to open source than I am to any brand name such as Joomla, Drupal or WordPress. I work with open source because I want to see live in a society dominated by open rather than proprietary systems. A large and popular project provides a much better platform to make that happen.

#3. Chance of success. 99.9% of forks fail. In fact, 99.9% of open source project fail. People wildly overestimate how rare it is for an open source project to succeed. I saw a very naive comment on Reddit the other day: “the creation of an ecosystem is trivially easy”. Projects like Joomla and Drupal are 1 in 100,000. They caught lightning in a bottle. Your project probably won’t.

#4. People. I’m attached to the people in each open source project rather than just the codebase. I’m a trainer, not a developer, so that’s the way my mind works.

#5. Different place, same drama. I’ve heard people say that they want to start afresh to avoid the drama in the old project. Sorry, but people are people. The grass probably won’t be greener on the other side.

#6. Be different. Rather than forks, which offer more of the same for the first few months or years, it’s a lot more interesting to see something completely new. A great example is Ghost as an alternative to WordPress.

None of this is to say that forks are bad things or that you shouldn’t launch one. These are just the reasons why I probably won’t be interested.

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There is Peace in the GPL World

I was watching the U.S. healthcare debate play out yesterday and it got me thinking.

I thought back to when our own industry was dominated by legal arguments, most of them half-digested and poorly-sourced. Including my own.

The GPL debates in open source were not a fun time and they dragged on for years.

So, I did some looking back and unless I’m missing something, the last real argument about the GPL was in July 2010, two years in the past. Continue reading “There is Peace in the GPL World”

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It’s Time for Joomla to Become Professional

[UPDATE] I was nervous before posting this but want to thank everyone for the big response. I’ve heard from a lot of people today and the great thing is many of them agree: we need to raise our game. The future can be bright. There are a lot of opportunities out there for Joomla. We just sometimes need to be reminded to go and grab them.

Sorry, Disqus is being a real pain and comments are sometimes missing on this thread after a server move.

Instead of commenting, go and do something positive. You’ll feel much better, I promise. Help move us forward. Here’s one place to start.


It’s time for the Joomla community to professionalize.

I mean that in two senses: Continue reading “It’s Time for Joomla to Become Professional”

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Moved from to had a really great six year run. But, I’ve moved everything over to I moved for several reasons:

1) Urgency. OSTraining traffic is going up, up, up. Visitor numbers are way, way higher than this time last year. I need to move as many sites off that server as possible.

2) Business. “Alledia” isn’t really me any more. It’s a company and one that has very little to do with open source. Alledia Inc. runs, and For practical reasons related to #1, we couldn’t use, but the business is now at

3) A Fresh Start. The old site was full of 10 years of accumulated junk. It dated back to a Mambo installation from 2003 and had been migrated through a couple of domains and Joomla versions until reaching where it grew and mutated for six more years. It was a mess.

4) Clarity. Finally, the purpose of both sites is a lot clearer now:

  • can fully represent the Alledia business.
  • can fully represent me and my ramblings.

Over time I’ll try to move as many of my usernames as possible from alledia to steveburge. This site is a big first step.

Welcome to my new digs!

Housekeeping note: All the old content and comments are here. The URLs are also the same, so all incoming links should still work.

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Our New Product: Admincredible

admincredible-adamRemember that new product mentioned on the blog at the beginning of May?

I’m delighted to say that things are coming along great.

The name of the product is Admincredible and I know you’re going to love it.

We’ve absolutely loved building it.

In building Admincredible, I’ve had the chance work with a lot of people that I’ve long admired. TJ and Eddie from Joomlashack are helping me bring the product to fruition. Fotis, Chiara and the Nuevvo team are doing the design work. We’ve got some great coders on the project too.

Visit to sign up and become one of the very first to know when we launch.

You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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First Peek at a New Business

Tonight at the Joomla User Group in Atlanta I’ll be giving the first public peek inside our new business.

Details of how to attend are here:

I’m really excited about this project:

  • It involves a lot of great Joomla people that I’ve met over the years. Some of them I’ve been hoping to work with for a long time.
  • It scratches my own itch. OSTraining is my main business and that is designed to scratch other peoples itches. Even if this side-project completely flops commercially, I’ll still use it myself.
  • Intially it will be a Joomla project, but I hope it will end up serving a much wider audience.
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