Might Have Been
Imagine what the tech side of the blogosphere would be like today if, when Atom kicked off, the Atom folks had felt strongly that the new standard should minimize disruption and avoid hurt feelings -- even the feelings of people they might not want to invite to dinner.
One of the interesting questions about open source as a movement is, what do you do when the interests of the code conflict with the emotional interests of a committed contributor? In the business world, sometimes you just have no choice but to call someone into your office and say something like:
I know that you and Blodget have issues, and I know that Blodgett is our competitor. But we've decided the antagonism is doing us a lot of damage.
So, here's the keys to the company condo in the Carribean. Here are your plane tickets. Go down there, watch the sun set over the ocean, relax, have a drink. Next Monday, come back tell me whether you think you can swallow hard and become a Blodgett supporter, or if you've decided to change jobs.
One of the key rules of running a volunteer organization is that yes, you can fire a volunteer. But it's hard, and I don't know that it would work in open source or if you'd just generate a fork every time you tried.