Matt's entry about being "crushed" by finding a project that already satisfies part of something he's been planning reminded me of another recent discussion. My brother had a project he was excited to work on, but he lost his enthusiasm when he learned other folks were already working on it. He doubted he'd pursue his own project, and whether he would contribute to the other. There's no sense working on something redundant; and having to work on something already half-baked according to someone else's tastes isn't as fun.
This is an understandable response, and a contributing factor to the many half-started open source projects that fill the SourceForge repository.
karl on 2003-09-23
Yes and one of the most intersting thing at SourceForge is this list
The software map by status. :)
Joseph Reagle on 2003-09-23
Indeed, the "planning" stage is the largest. Again, I don't think this is a problem, but one can still consider why this happens the way it does.