Matt Asay over at The Open Road commented recently that forks are a sign of strength in open source. I’m sure he’s right, but they are not necessarily a sign of strength for the project being forked. The one positive thing is that it makes the community sit up and review the root cause of the fork.
As Andreas Ericsson says in his post The future of Nagios, recent events have demonstrated weaknesses in the structure of the Nagios project, specifically that Ethan Galstad is the only commiter of fixes and enhancements to Nagios. A single commiter is fine until the commiter doesn’t have sufficient time to work on the project as might be required to keep up with community submitted fixes and enhancements. Understandably, individual contributors are going to get frustrated that their patches and enhancements are not being incorporated into the project.
If nothing more comes of the ICINGA fork than a review of the Nagios structure, then the fork will have been worthwhile.