TWiki/Foswiki Facts

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Lately there has been a lot of buzz in twitter about TWiki vs Foswiki. Given that there are some inacuracies in both sides, I would like to put some facts so you can form an opinion by yourself.

The main point is that Peter Thoeny, on behalf of TWIKI.NET, imposed a governance model on the TWiki project that was already rejected by the active community[1]. I say imposed because, just minutes before a Release Meeting, everybody was locked down from editing TWiki.org (and I think svn privileges were locked too, but didn't check at the time) and the only way to regain the right of editing or commit was to accept the new governance model.

This offered those that didn't agree with the goverance model a "my way or the highway" scenario. The result is that most members of the active community (80%? 90%?) decided the highway option, and thus Foswiki was born. As a sidenote, several members of the TWiki CoreTeam moved to Foswiki, too. The only remaining member of the CoreTeam as it was in 2008 is Peter Thoeny.

Now, notice that I said "active community". To work with the current number TWiki has a community of about 46,000 registered users[2] . Of those, around 20 where active core developers, and about 20 active plugin developers not beloging to the previous group [3]. This is the group that formed Foswiki. From other 45,000+ users, around 6500 have accepted the governance model. And if you dig enough[4] you'll find that the big majority of them are new users. And almost none of them are now active in twiki.org.

You can compare both communities by checking the following:
For more information check both sides of the story (the relaunch of TWiki.org[6] and Why Foswiki was created)

Update: It seems that I got some figures regarding registered users wrong. Fixed that and added more references. Thanks gmc.

[1] By active community I mean those that actively commit patches, participate in discussions about TWiki on twiki.org or helped make TWiki a better product.
[2] Estimated from here . Around 47,000 topics, minus 1,000 assuming they are bogus or non-users topics.
[3] These figure are offhand estimates. the accurate number can be found by looking the commit history of TWiki in 2008. In the whole TWiki history, only around 50 developers have more than 20 commits.
[4] Use this search in a topic in the Sandbox web: %SEARCH{"META.*?AgreeToTermsOfUse.*?Yes" type="regex" web="Main"}%
[5] Before Foswiki, the top contributors table  in the Codev home topic would only have contributors with at least 20 contribution that month, and the table would be full (10 entries) top contributors reaching at much as 100 edits a month.
[6] You got to love the "And it is important to note that the governance model isn't democratic" part.


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You've also got an inaccuracy there. According to Thoeny there are around 6500 people who bought the governance model, out of around 38000 registered users (my own estimate).

You're totally right, my numbers were wrong. Already updated them. Thanks!

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