In my discussion with @Calin yesterday, an interesting issue came up.
It would appear that current terminology of what is a “hard fork” and what is a “soft fork” is very unclear when it comes to actual meaning. This leads to upgrade option discussions being made more difficult than they should be and general misunderstandings about the discussion topic.
Current, public semi-official definitions are here, but in yesterday’s discussion we have pretty much concluded the definition of soft-fork is actually either wrong or unclear:
Instead of trying to update these definitions, which may be hard or even close to impossible because of public perception is already written in stone pretty much, I propose new terminology for Bitcoin Cash and PoW-based blockchains:.
Cherry Fork = A blockchain fork, that introduces changes that are non-backward compatible, which requires all nodes and clients to upgrade in order to keep using the network. Clients/Nodes that have not upgraded, are dropped off the upgraded network.
I chose Cherry because it is red, which is inspired by the universal color of STOP sign, this says “stop, you should upgrade here”.
Orange Fork = A fork, where new functionality is added that can be used by new clients only, but old, not-upgraded-clients can keep using the network the way they used it before, while being oblivious to new added rules/functionalities.
I chose orange as the fruit, because it’s color matches BTC logo of which developers favour this way of doing upgrades. Also orange colour is the universally accepted colour that says “slow down, you need to think about this” everywhere around the world.