> KDE started the same way - an explosion of contributors working on the same goal.
But KDE was also a collection of many independent, even orthogonal, applications such that developers could work on their piece without any affect on another (ie. less code merging across larger groups, etc.) Even the dependent pieces were often linked together by abstractions at a higher level than the language (object brokers, interprocess communication protocols, etc.) right? So the real core C++ libraries and such, that were linked into programs directly were a much smaller group of developers and contributors (I'm guessing). And furthermore, a significant portion of that core was based around the commercially developed QT, which started completely as C++ (and hell, even extended it) and was a small tight team. KDE is definitely a great example of a large and active C++ based project, but still, I think, a *very* different contribution model than a community driven C++ monolithic kernel would be. It all comes down to merging, and merging lots of separate contributed C++ code and requires a lot more pre-planning, design, discipline, coordination, and review *just at the language level* than C (imo).
However, my summary of KDE could be wrong, so someone please correct me if so. I've not used it much personally.