[nSLUG] Article on why monoculture gets picked

D G Teed donald.teed at gmail.com
Wed Apr 25 07:46:32 ADT 2007

Awhile ago I wrote about the virtues of having fewer distros
and more developers per distro.

This article writes about the same argument, but
regarding Open Source development projects in general.



The 700 lb clue-bat has to be available to pound on the head of those who
for no better reason than a disagreement over a license, or who should
get to call the shots. When we hear about two or more projects that
answer the same question, we should be asking ourself
"Why don't they pool their effort and produce one really good solution?",
rather than celebrating diversity for diversity's sake alone.

I think that anyone who has looked for an XML editor like XMetal, or HTML
like Dreamweaver, or evaluated content management solutions would see the
picture that diversity does not make these things strong.

As a counter example, consider apache or bind.  Who needs a different open
source web server or different DNS server?  These work very well, and just
about everyone using open source OSes uses them.  Linux distros may not
have to become that narrow in choice, but I question whether we need 129
based on Debian, 63 based on Fedora, 28 based on Slackware, etc.
(numbers from distrowatch.com).

That's a lot of developer talent that might make the mothership
stronger if it were redirected.  It also harms the image of Linux
in general that these hundreds of choices exist, as CTO types
get the impression that the bar is too low for being able to
create a Linux distribution, and that equates with questions on trust
and reliability, stability of the project, etc.


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