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A hostile fork is one done unilaterally, generally without consultation or the blessing of the main project. It generally causes acrimony and community fragmentation, and usually no code changes are shared between the forks after the split.

Compare to forking to solve a very specific or specialized problem that doesn't make sense to merge upstream, like a set of changes that only apply to a very narrow audience or esoteric use-case. In such a case, it's common that changes that do affect the main project are still merged upstream and special care is done to make sure the forks don't diverge too much.

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