Subject: Re: A few thoughts.
From: shap@eros.cis.upenn.edu
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 1998 08:58:06 -0300

In message <199808171546.LAA20642@battleship>, Brian Bartholomew writes:
> > My issue with what you say is that I'm not convinced that open
> > source engineering is cheaper overall.
> 
> In this accounting, are you counting volunteer developer hours on the
> net at market rates, or at zero cost?

Brian:

I was counting volunteer developer hours at zero cost.  The costing
question seems to come down to:

  1. How much integrator time is required to evaluate, incorporate or
     reimplement, and test a change?

  2. Does having volunteer developers actually lower the in-house
     (i.e. paid) development staff required?

After a while, I decided that the answer to (2) was ``no.''  My
expectation is that the volunteers will rapidly partition into two
sets: the people whose judgement you get to trust and the rest of the
world.

If the answer to (2) is ``no'', then what open sourcing buys you is
speed of innovation, not reduction in paid engineering cost.


shap