I would like opinions on this. One of the managers where I work wants to 'enhance' some open source projects, but instead of going by what I would consider the normal route of supplying patches upstream, he wants to open a bitbucket account and grab the project (he never told me which one) and then just enhance it. While this would still be 'open source', to me this is the very definition of a fork.

He claims that it'd take too long to wait for upstream to apply any enhancements, and depending on the project, that could very well be correct. But I told him he didn't technically need to wait for such things. All that would be required is to at least provide links to whomever the software was distributed to for the source code, or even just the patches made, and the upstream source. He only mentioned in the discussion LGPL section 4 (which is the one conveniently linked to on Wikipedia). I suggested they develop the patches internally, build the project and distribute it to the customers, providing links to the bug tracker or mailing list or wherever those patches may be. Then the end users can get the enhanced software sooner, they don't have to wait for upstream, but they also don't end up doing a full on fork! Unless of course their patches get refused outright, then at least they'd have a reason for forking.

What does everyone think about this? This is a manager that has always liked to disagree with me, and being an Apple fan and a developer, I don't think he's delved into a whole lot of open source software, at least the licensing and developing side of things.