This post is a reply for this post, you probably want to read that one first.
Basically, the problem is pretty simple. It is the chicken & the egg problem. There is a set of problems where it doesn’t matter. Rhino Mocks is a good example where it doesn’t really matter how many users there are for the framework. But there are projects where it really does matters.
A package management tool is almost the definition of the chicken & egg problem. Having a tool coming from Microsoft pretty much solve this, because you get a fried chicken pre-prepared.
If you look at other projects, you can see that the result has been interesting.
- Unity / MEF didn’t have a big impact on the OSS containers.
- ASP.Net MVC pretty much killed a lot of the interest in MonoRail.
- Entity Framework had no impact on NHibernate.
In NHibernate’s case, it is mostly because it already moved beyond the chicken & egg problem, I think. In MonoRail’s case, it was that there wasn’t enough outside difference, and most people bet on the MS solution. For Unity / MEF, there wasn’t any push to use something else, because you really didn’t depended on that.
In short, it depends :-)
There are some projects that really need critical mass to succeed. And for those projects, having Microsoft get behind them and push is going to make all the difference in the world.
And no, I don’t really see anything wrong with that.