Call it democratic software development, or open source on steroids if you will.
I'm not just talking about the possibility of providing a patch which can be approved by the library owner. Think more along the lines of how Stack Exchange works. Anyone can post code, and through community moderation it is cleaned up and eventually valid code ends up in the final library.
For complex libraries an elaborate system should probably be created, but for a simple library it is my belief this is already possible e.g. within the Stack Exchange platform.
Take a library of extension methods for .NET for example. Everybody goes their own way and implements their own subset of what they feel is important, open-source library or not. People want to share their code, but there is no suitable platform for it. extensionmethod.net is the result of answering this call for extension methods, but the framework hopelessly falls short; there is no order, or structure at all.
You don't know whether an idea is any good until you try it, so I decided to create an Extension Methods proposal on Area51. I belief with proper moderation, it could be possible for the site to be more than a Q&A site, and that an actual library (or subsets of it) could be extracted from it.
Feel free to give feedback to this particular idea on it's proposal page on area51, but it is just meant to be an example. This question is meant to find an answer to the general idea of creating an open source software library moderated by an open community.
- Is it possible? What would be the main problems to such an approach?
- Has anything like this been attempted before?
- Are there platforms better suited for this?