The Fedora Project have just released version 1.0 of Fedora Directory Server. It is interesting that this announcement comes at a similar time as Sun announcing the open sourcing of Sun Java System Directory Server.
If you take a look at the screenshots, you will realize that these products – iPlanet Directory, Netscape Directory Server, Sun ONE Directory, Fedora Directory and Sun Java Directory Server – are all almost the exact same thing!! Who are we trying to kid here? Inbreeders! The history explains it in a succint manner.
This is a typical example of the (really bad) forking that takes place when it comes to proprietary software. If you think forking and branching of code bases only happens in Open Source Software, you’re horribly wrong.
Basically all this means is that millions of dollars have been spent competing on development of the same code base in order to put the same or similar features into the competing products. At the end of the day Open Source Software became the winner, but at what cost to the corporate entities involved? If only someone realised this, we would not have a fragmented product, but one robust product that everyone has equal control over the development of.