The University flew the two Martins (on separate occasions) over here late last year to give us training, presentations, etc. - and argument opportunities, of course.
By the way, so far in these forums I think you've only seen the two of us, mys'elf and Tim Hunt. We are on the same team, which is tasked with implementing Moodle features so that it's capable of doing the things our existing course website system does, and with a very slightly similar editing workflow facility. Our first release in May isn't going to actually do much that's available in Moodle, it's just going to do what our existing sites do. After that the intention is to gradually use more Moodle features.
Also on that team are Alan Carter and Derek Woolhead, who haven't posted here yet (and might be described as less outspoken, perhaps); the four of us share an office. The other key team is Rod Norfor and Nick Freear; they are dealing with tools, automated testing, source control, and 'our side' of the database import process from University systems. These people are working full-time on OU/Moodle stuff; there are also a few other developers working on related issues which might become part of Moodle in future.
(For example the e-portfolio system, which is initially using an outside solution. However the person in charge of that is also looking at the options available for Moodle, for later consideration... his comment in a meeting, 'Everybody seems to want e-portfolio systems at the moment.' my comment 'Except students.'
As for forks, I somehow don't think our management will accept a fork any time soon! We've done a lot of planning for our initial changes (the set we're making now, for that May release) to minimise the points where we have to touch core code.
function that hides/shows form elements able to work even if you don't have hidden fields that record their status, so that you don't have to include the fields if you don't care), or relatively minor extensions that directly follow the spirit of existing interfaces (like the 'letting modules control file download
' thing I posted about). Those kind of things we would definitely like to contribute to the core. The rest of our diff... well, I guess managing it is Rod's problem.
(It's not that bad... but it would be better if we could get rid of that 'ought to be in core and the Moodle community wouldn't even object to it' stuff. I think we're going to take some time, perhaps after we've finished the work for our May release when hopefully our source code management is in a better state, to look at the differences and check which ones are OK to put in core. My post about the modules/file download thing is a first step at that, for a moderately interesting change that shouldn't be controversial.)