Dreamwidth's Diversity is its Strength
Dec 23, 2009, 18:17 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Juliet Kemp)
"For community-based software, OSS has clear advantages. Denise
and Mark both note how useful it is to have core developers be
people who are passionate about your software, and the advantages
when users can all contribute. You also get access to a large pool
of volunteer developers, and a hugely diverse skillset – need
a particular sort of expert? Put the word out on the grapevine, and
see if someone will stop by to help out.
"On the other hand, keeping all contributors in step with one
another can be hard work, and most OSS people have at some point
encountered some version of the bikeshed argument. It's possible to
avoid major derailments with the right project culture and project
leadership, but it's all hard work for a project manager, in a very
different way from what's required in a corporate environment.
"The planned project timeline doesn't always fit, either, with
what volunteer contributors find interesting and want to work on.
But this diversity of contributions also has a positive effect,
which Denise happily describes as leading to "a dizzying explosion
of change and improvement in all directions". The ease of
contribution, which Dreamwidth has been at pains to maintain, has
also helped this proliferation of ideas and code."