I felt that if a few, long term users expended their time and effort coming up with one or more patches that met their collective needs, and demonstrated both their commitment and collaboration to getting something that worked for more than a single application, the author my feel more inclined to see their point of view and incorporate those patches back into the original module.
Or, hopefully, feel more confident to relinquish control. (Or, if s/he starts maintaining her/his version again, have the forkers merge back upstream and phase out the fork.)
(I think the free software world is poorer for not having sufficiently good distributed source control systems that everyone can effortlessly branch/fork projects locally while still tracking upstream patches. The lack of technical solutions turns questions like these into huge social headaches.)
Makeshifts last the longest.
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