Phil, Ken, et al.,
I am all in favor of open source projects, but if you look at
Sourceforge and other web sites for open source projects, you
will find one common thread: the overwhelming majority of
the projects are dead, moribund, dying, or dormant.
PJ> Without some major source of funding, it seems that a good
> option (and perhaps the only feasible option) would be to
> follow the model of the open-source software development
> community, which has been able to successfully address the
> challenges of funding and coordination in many cases, for
> different kinds of software and software frameworks.
The only projects that succeed are ones that have either
(a) a well funded organization behind them (e.g. OpenOffice),
(b) multiple well funded organizations behind them (e.g.
Linux and Eclipse),
(c) a very committed programmer who does the majority of
the work as a labor of love,
(d) a very committed leader who maintains and organizes
a cohesive group of active participants and a larger
group of part-time contributors,
(e) some combination of various aspects of the above.
If you notice the common thread, successful projects are or
become full-time equivalents (paid or unpaid) for one or
more of the major participants.
Without such commitment, all these discussions are equivalent
to saying "Let's you, him, and her quit your day jobs and do
a lot of hard, but unpaid work."