ergophobe - 8:41 pm on Oct 17, 2013 (gmt 0)
I think this is a make or break release for Drupal. Will it be Windows Millenium or Windows XP? Time will tell.
I have one live site running on Drupal 8 and in general I like it. There are many changes, but from the perspective of themers and even to some degree module developers, things like the Form API, Schema API are mostly the same AFAIK.
That said, there is great fear that it is reaching a level of complexity with Symfony and a move to full OOP that willl leave a lot of hobbyist programmers behind. The big money behind Drupal really only has interest in enterprise solutions, but so many traditional Drupal users do not have enterprise needs or budgets.
So this is the motivation behind the fork. Several really committed core developers have cycled out either because they disagree with the new direction or because they simply don't understand it and feel they can no longer contribute.
At the same time, the way Drupal is now is a major hassle. A given variable might be an array or an object depending on context. It makes it harder to extend and maintain.
As for the fork, though, the big question is what happens with all the contrib modules. Most module developers will probably upgrade for D8 rather than port to Backdrop, but that reminds to be seen. If Backdrop doesn't get a nice base of key modules, it will die. But then, the same could be true of Drupal in general.