I was happy to discover ansel, a photo editing program similar to lightroom and the like. It is a fork of Darktable. Ansel’s author was frustrated with the course the UX of Darktable was going and now forked the project. This reminded me of a very similar process with a very similar app (also photo editing): ART is a fork of RawTherapee also for reasons of improving usability. So that is curious.
It reminded me a bit of a similar story from a different area that someone told me: They write tutorials for an open source software on a wiki. The recurring problem is that people started to add information to their tutorials up until these were not useful for beginners anymore, so they needed to start anew at another page to have beginner-friendly resources anymore.
I wonder if/which other cases of such developments are there – Do you know any other projects that went through similar changes, being forked because the original became hard to use?
I also think about how this process is different than feature addition in commercial software: The addition of features to justify upgrades (as it was common with shrink-wrapped software) and the continous changes of subscription based services. The “adding features” might be similar, but the ecosystem of work and reasons to add features are probably rather different.