Subject: Re: Meeting the MS challenge
From: Brian Bartholomew <bb@wv.com>
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 1997 14:39:12 -0500

> I tried to calculate how much time I've put into developing
> Ghostscript, and it's on the order of 5000 hours = $1M at my
> consulting rate averaged over the development period, or half that
> if taken as salary.

That money number is only meaningful if you had billable work
available that you would have been willing to do instead.  The key
word is "willing".

> Are there other people reading this list who have put >1000 hours
> into free software development (1000 hours = 6 months full-time)?

Yes.  But I get the feeling that everyone on this list has, and a more
interesting question is density.  I've spent most of my week
developing free software for months at a time this past year.

> How do you feel about the value you've gotten back in freed software
> that you use?

Since my motivation was not monitary, I don't expect my donation to
make sense in monitary terms.  If I had the chance to do it over, I
would do it again, does that answer your question?  The last few
months my donation rate has slowed down markedly.  Now I'm looking for
a way to recover the costs from the initial version.  The economics of
free software have failed in the sense that it's a lousy way to pay
the rent.


Another member of the League for Programming Freedom (LPF) www.lpf.org
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Brian Bartholomew - bb@wv.com - www.wv.com - Working Version, Cambridge, MA