We've all heard the "unfounded" criticisms: There are 400 Linux distributions, all incompatible with each other. Such duplication of effort should be criminal! etc. etc. etc.
And we naturally dismiss it. Because "obviously" all that effort is *not* duplicated.
And yet... the portion of the effort which *is* duplicated is, upon closer inspection, substantial. There is no reason, in principle, that is *has* to be. But in practice, it has been.
Closer collaboration is an obvious way to eliminate much of that duplication of effort. And if the idea had come from anywhere other than the BDFL of a distro which has enjoyed such jealousy-inducing success as has <this space intentionally left blank>, it probably would be looked to as the next big thing for Linux.