Of Fabric and Forge

Community Nov 29, 2020

As many of you will know, I am a community moderator for the Fabric project, and I've been largely responsible for quite a lot of change there as of late. The history of how the Fabric community has interacted with the Forge community is a sticky one, although this is somewhat understandable.

Both communities have a reputation for extreme tribalism, perpetuated mostly by their users and, historically, largely ignored by their moderators. As a Fabric community moderator, I've been working with the team to try to address this issue — tribalism really doesn't help anyone, and just serves to widen the divide between two communities that really should be working together towards the same goals.

There are many examples of this problem around the internet. CurseForge is a great case study for this, as it seems to bring out the worst of the community in the comments.

Users on CurseForge

Our (mine and my partner's) primary experience with tribalism on CurseForge has been with users that evangelize Forge and complain about Fabric. Here are some comments from our mods — please note that these are just from our projects, and there are definitely examples of the reverse out there.

Comment: That's the whole point why I am staying in forge... To try and get rid of these toxic mod users (and some mod makers as well). Not an easy fight but I'm trying.
Comment: Oh god not another one, y'all Minecraft modders should all have a meeting or something and just decide for one or the other because this whole some go fabric some go forge thing is stupid and very shitty for... the whole community really. I legit don't mind switching but there's tons of important mods that aren't in Fabric so like, HELP. Stop dividing the community, if Fabric is really so much better, find a better way to do things please.

We've had a lot worse, but we tend to report and delete them instead of responding to them when they're very heated.

In contrast, when our mods were all on Forge, we mostly got this type of comment from Fabric users:

Comment: Looks amazing but I don't use Forge unfortunately. Do you plan to make a Fabric version?
Comment: Sorry for asking but can you port it to fabric? Thank you.

There are, of course, some instances of Forge users behaving the same way — there are good people on both sides.

Comments: Fabric seems to be required for 1.14.4. Is there a version of Forge? / No, sorry. / Any plans to make one? If not, why not?
Thanks to asieierka for this screenshot.

It's an interesting contrast and in some ways I can understand the frustration by Forge users, who are used to being able to use basically any mods out there — Fabric is, in essence, a challenger to the throne and Fabric mods cannot be used with Forge at the moment. That said, this is all in reference to a video game, and harassment, threats and toxicity are not acceptable under any circumstance. Speaking of which...

Harassment, threats and toxicity

There are many examples of toxicity in both communities. From Reddit posts that only exist to make fun of Forge to the Forge community's abhorrent treatment of prominent Fabric community members — far too many examples to list here, of course. There has been plenty of pointless yelling about Forge on the Fabric Discord as well, but we've been addressing that over the last few months in order to promote healthy discussion instead.

Of course, there's always someone that takes things much too far. One extreme example of hostility towards the Fabric project is the egregious Yarn DMCA takedown, but this wasn't something that targetted a specific person. Here's a recent example of that:

This was a disgusting attempt to dox and harass the Forge project lead, and I responded to it as soon as I could.

To me, this event shows that some people are far too emotionally invested in the modding community — the fact that someone would attempt to do something that could compromise someone's physical safety over some Minecraft mod-loader tribalism is absolutely astounding to me. Obviously, we'll be keeping an eye out for people doing things like this.

Where do we go from here?

Frankly, there's a lot of work to be done — and it's not just work that needs to happen within the Fabric community. As has been said, respect is a two-way street and the Fabric and Forge communities need to work together to solve this issue in a satisfactory way.

There will always be people that take things much too far, like the above example. That said, there's a lot we can do about this on a basic level — the Fabric community strives to be a friendly community that promotes healthy discussions and doesn't turn away beginners, and we heavily discourage tribalism when it comes to Forge. I believe that the Forge community is capable of doing the same, and I would like to see that happen. At the end of the day, tribalism and hostility does not help anyone in any scenario — we can all strive to do better and support our communities in every way we can, whether they're related to Minecraft or not.

If anyone is struggling to build a healthy community or would like advice on how they can improve things for their users, please feel free to reach out — I'm always happy to help community staff members to make the right decisions for their users!

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