With the recent trademark action against Chia forks that use Chia in their name, specifically ChiaDogeCoin, a number of Chia community members have approached me with an idea and I think it is a good one. Here is my version of that idea.
The idea is that Chia Network in general, or Bram Cohen in particular, should be supporting the Chia forks more, or at least ones that are definitely not scams – especially if they are going to be bringing the hammer down on competing projects that use their name.
Well there is a great likelihood that one or more of the forks are a vehicle for the developer to fleece the Chia community, almost all of the ones I have spoken to are just run as fan projects by people that really love Chia. I think that something that could go a long way would be some high level support on crosschain access to NFT plots, or possibly a developer channel to invite them into to get early access to features or something.
One of the big challenges to running an open source project is realizing that you don’t control what people do with your code and sometimes your project itself. There are three responses to this reality:
- Attack the people using it the way you don’t like
- Ignore use of your code that falls outside of your target use cases
- Embrace the community and let the passion from outside developers improve your project
The 3rd is definitely the hardest, but if done right has the potential to help insulate Chia from unintended problems caused by new feature deployments or specific types of smart contract. To me the forks that are real clones of Chia, and actual community efforts would make for fantastic User Acceptance Testing (UAT) environments for Chia. A UAT environment is a stage of software deployment where the production ready product is deployed into a place where real users, not IT testers or programmers, will actually use the software to do their day-to-day job to iron out any bugs not discovered in primary test phases. This is a critical stage, and one almost never taken advantage of by open source projects. Red Hat used to use CentOS for this purpose.
Thank you to Grizzo from The Chia Plot discord for kicking off this discussion. He thinks, and I agree, that the Chia developers should be flattered about the community project forks, and that some token appreciation would go a long way from the community.
The point I am making here is that the copy/paste forks provide a unique opportunity to Chia Network, at the same time as they might seem to be a threat in some ways. It would be a shame to see that squandered. There are probably lots of other good ideas for how and I would like to hear yours.