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Peter West

"Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?"

On 6 Jan 2014, at 6:11 pm, James E Lang <> wrote:

This has been a most enlightening discussion.

I am a big fan of open source software. That said, this discussion has shined a bright light on 
one of the most problematic areas of the concept.

I might be totally off base here but as I view it, without a central management structure to 
_enforce_ standards two separate groups of developers may develop what appear to the end user as 
being similar related features that are inconsistent with each other. This results in unpleasant 
surprises for the end user.

If there had been a central management structure to _enforce_ standards, there would be NO open 
source software, full stop. No linux, no OS X, no samba, no python, no MySql, no Open Office and no 
Libre Office, to mention but a few.

The productivity of OSS development teams, imperfect as it is, cannot be matched by any structures 
designed for the management of software development. It is only matched by startups with small, 
committed teams and inspired technical leadership. Success and rapid increases in the scale of the 
development teams kills their productivity. Companies that have carved out a fantastically 
profitable niche can survive this transition, bit they can only retain a fraction of their original 

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