This move should be the standard in Linux development. Give a common and uniform specification and then derive the software from it. This would incredibly help common work and reduce unnedeed duplicate work.
Oh no, that's no fun. It's much more entertaining to get a fledgling project going (Compiz), start bickering on IRC and listservs about minor functionality and direction, fork (Beryl), go a half of a year and then kiss and makeup, then spend another year merging the changes back in (Compiz Fusion).
Open source needs it soap operas. We need the existing development model!