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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."

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