@kragen On the Git / fork model, there's a problem I've been trying to articulate for years and think I may finally have:
The threat of the low-cost / high-capability developer.
That is, even outside the proprietary world, it's possible to shape the direction of software (or protocol or data standards) development by being the most able / capable / low-cost developer.
That's been an issue in several notable projects, and seems more so now.
@kragen So whilst it's possible to fork, it can be hard to fork *and sustain a competitive level of development and support* especially against a particularly complicated alternative.
Say: browser rendering engines. Or init suite replacements. Or integrated desktops. Or office suites. Or tax or accounting software.
A vastly funded adversary *even if operating wholly within Free Software*, can code circles around other parties.
@kragen This goes back to the days of "worse is better" -- because "worse" is also (near-term) cheaper, and faster to develop, so it iterates and improves much faster than "better".
You may end up stuck in a local optimum as a result. But you'll at least get there quickly, while "better" is still trying to get their 0.01 out the door.
Otherwise: I tend to agree re: Wikipedia and Debian: social and organisational structures help tremendously.
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