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A fork is a divergence in a software project where one codebase becomes two. The second codebase is said to have forked from the first.

This usually happens when the original project makes changes that a significant number of users/developers dislike. e.g. Palemoon forked Firefox, Cinnamon forked Gnome Shell and MATE forked Gnome2. Forks may be also caused by the closure of the forked project as the users of the original software want to continue supporting the software. An example of a closed project being forked is the OpenOffice project, which had its final release in 2011. Although OpenOffice was continued as Apache OpenOffice, LibreOffice is seen as a succeeding fork of the original OpenOffice.