Open-source restaurant

"Uh, excuse me … I've been waiting over an hour for my meal."

"Really? What did you order?"

"The lasagna."

"Did you check the project activity before ordering?"

"The project activity? What on earth do you mean?"

"Well, it looks like the lasagna hasn't been updated since 2003. I think it's pretty much dead. There aren't even any recent posts on the lasagna forum. Would you like to order something else?"

"Fine, I'll have the spinach pie."

"Which one?"

"Which one? Why would you have more than one spinach pie?"

"There was a dispute within the spinach pie group and they ended up forking the codebase. There are now two parallel spinach pie projects."

"I see. So which is better?"

"Difficult to say. I like the pastry in one better, but the other tends to have fresher spinach."

"Just pick one. I don't care which."

"OK, fine. I'll be back in a moment with the rolling pin and the knife."

"With the what?"

"You need to roll out the pastry yourself, and chop the spinach. Once you've prepared all the ingredients, you just put them together and I'll take them to the chef and have them baked for you. Really, it's much easier than it sounds."

"Are you telling me I have to make my own meal?"

"No, no. The open-source guys have done almost all the work. They've written out the recipe and collected all the ingredients. You only need to compile and install. If you have all the prerequisite modules, you'll be enjoying a tasty spinach pie in no time at all."

"This is lunacy."

"Not at all. You can't tell me you'd rather go to a regular restaurant, where you have to eat what they give you. Listen, suppose you don't like the way we make the spinach pie. You can just add your own ingredients and make it the way you want. You can even write your changes back into the recipe so that everyone can enjoy it. Lots of our guests like to do that."

"I'm sorry. This sounds like too much work. I think I'll just go somewhere else."

"As you prefer, sir. Just watch out for that cow as you leave - table 7 ordered the steak."