Subject: Re: Successful FSBs
From: Lynn Winebarger <owinebar@free-expression.org>
Date: Wed, 6 Nov 2002 02:12:27 -0500

On Tuesday 05 November 2002 19:41, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> >>>>> "Lynn" == Lynn Winebarger <owinebar@free-expression.org> writes:
> 
>     Lynn> the OSS argument is that the freeness condition tends to
>     Lynn> maximize quality by peer review
> 
> If you mean "many eyes, shallow bugs", that's only in part correct.
> To the extent that quality means "adapted to need", freeness also
> maximizes adaptability by reducing the "chunk size".

     Adapted to need would probably be the right measure.  I don't
know about that "chunk size" characterization though.  Aren't you
the one saying code reuse is not actually all that high in the F/OSS
world?  Also, some apps grow like mud balls rather than being
split into fine diamonds.  The former is probably much more common.

>     Lynn> (the corresponding proprietary argument is that profit
>     Lynn> drives quality maximization by attracting the best
>     Lynn> programming talent).
> 
> Who knows what attracts the "best"?  That's always been unknown to
> economists, not to mention everybody else (cf A Beautiful Mind).  But
> profits attract _resources_.  Certainly they tend to hold talent once
> it shows up.

   Heck, I'm not even sure how you can measure "best" for programmers.  
But I just said it  was an argument, not a proof.  It'd be interesting to 
attempt to model this, but I have no idea how you'd get the numbers 
(meaningful numbers, I should say, if there are any).  I suspect the 
proprietary firms would regard  them as proprietary information, 
probably the FSB's would too. 
   That (my quoted) argument is also countered by "Homesteading the 
Noosphere".  I suppose you could characterize it as profit in a different
coin, though.

Lynn