You bring up an interesting and relevant point about how various APIs are used by the applications. But when I think about how the world of software is evolving, it seems that those management APIs are becoming more important, because a software application of today must know not just how to run, but also how to be deployed.
I believe it is both difficult and important to align with dominant designs. 30 years ago it was a good bet to develop software for the new x86 architecture, 15 years ago it was a good idea to bet on the new world-wide web, 10 years ago on the new LAMP stack. Today, the API layer is where different pieces of software come together and where brilliant software developers congregate. It's about AWS, but it's even more about the new design paradigm that the AWS APIs represent. Of course there will not be just one set of APIs. We know that in addition to AWS, we have OpenStack, Microsoft, VMware and Google are all building theirs. One of them will be dominant. Randy Bias brings forward an important point.
I'd say that forking is an order of magnitude (or perhaps 2) easier than creating the product in the first place. Forking is hard work. But creating a product from scratch is enormously harder.
The creators and owners have the right to decide on the roadmap of their creation. Closed source software can't deal with disagreements, but open source software can. If you don't like the roadmap, you can create your own branch or your own fork. You don't have to make use of that freedom, but it is a freedom nevertheless, available to all.
Thx for the comment. I'd say the right to fork prevents the bad things from happening. If you are ever displeased with what the steward of an open source project is doing with it (be it Eucalyptus or something else), you can take the source code and fork it. Happens all the time (OpenOffice, MySQL, Android, etc.).
We believe in Linux, KVM and Eucalyptus - all production-ready open source software freely available to anyone. Just download and get going. - If you have chosen to use closed source software like VMware's, then as Dishwasha points out there are commercial plug-ins available for Eucalyptus.
CEO, Eucalyptus Systems