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Given how widely used nginx is, wouldn’t a community maintained fork be the most likely outcome of things changing for the worse?

The problem, of course, when all contributions are "limited" to those within the company, that the talent and expertise required to keep things going exist just in the company itself, and not in the overall open source community. So when the company behind the tech "goes away", all the knowledge does too. It's for that reason that open source that is totally under the control of one company is so dangerous. Sure, you have the ability to fork, but the reality is that such a fork is almost assuredly doomed to fail. You really are beholden to that company.

The antithetic case here has precedence too (node/iojs amongst others) - "org realizes its share of the base tech has outlived its 'welcome' to no real financial benefit". But I guess a more pressing question is: can a corporate entity be "hands-off" enough so that its subsidiary has room to work as effectively as it had prior to its acquisition?

I don't have the wherewithal to get at these arguments from any angle (and I'm certain I'm missing many others).

Studious maintenance of the base code and branches/PRs besides build tried/true code bases and I hope that we're not being torn of that practice from this buyout; but only time will tell ...

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