So I was over at EnWorld (hey, it was the wee hours of the morning, cut me some slack), and there was a thread bemoaning how 5e was doomed because not enough gamers were going to abandon their current systems of choice to pay WotC's bills. I suggested that perhaps Wizards should focus instead on producing quality modules in pdf format with variants for each of several 'supported' editions (like what Troll Lord does with their Hex Crawl Chronicles, or Dwimmermount being aimed at both LL and ACKS). This idea did not gain much traction, and in any case Wizards is committed at this point.
But it did get me thinking - if Wizards won't do it, maybe we as a community should. But I don't mean 'we the OSR community'; I mean 'we the tabletop FRPG community.' We have many free, excellent, community-driven systems, but relatively few free, community-created adventures of quality. I propose therefore the creation of a cross-edition open-source adventure-template library, comparable in purpose and workflow to sourceforge. Someone (or several someones) creates an adventure for their game and decide to upload it. They strip out edition-specific elements, creating a 'template' of maps, NPC personalities, room descriptions, and other invariants, and throw that into the web licensed such that it can be fully modified with attribution. Other users go "Man, that's a nice backbone for an adventure" and fill in the edition-specific gaps, then upload their modifications.
Is it a silly idea? Maybe; transcribing adventures is a pain in the ass, and maybe the differences in assumptions between editions make such a 'universal template' nearly impossible. Perhaps the DMing community isn't big enough compared to the programming community to generate an open-source movement of volunteers in the same way. But we as DMs already do most of the work writing descriptions and such (Alexis notwithstanding), and I can't help but feel that a fair few of us would like to show off that work (especially the parts the players never did find). Maybe I'll start things off by templatizing Sandygates and the Bleak Academy and put my money where my mouth is.