How to Resurrect a Dead Open Source Project

Gillette had built a few popular applications, including Shoes, a tool kit for building graphical applications with the Ruby programming language, and an interactive tutorial for teaching kids to code. It would have been a shame for the community to lose those projects — and luckily, they didn’t. Since many developers had copies of Gillette’s code, they were able to resurrect them.

That’s the beauty of open source. Because open source licenses allow anyone to modify and redistribute the code of a project, any developer can pick up where a creator left off. Many well known open source applications have been developed this way. WordPress, the popular blogging platform that WIRED and many other websites use, is actually a continuation of a discontinued project called b2.

The trouble is that it’s not always easy to find a project’s decedents. That’s why Belgian developer Schutz Yannick decided to build Forked, a site for finding alternate, actively maintained versions of abandoned open source projects.