Subject: Re: business case for mechanized documentation
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Sat, 08 Apr 2006 00:41:02 +0900

>>>>> "Rich" == Rich Morin <rdm@cfcl.com> writes:

    Rich> In particular, should outfits such as Novell, Red Hat, and
    Rich> Sun be looking into ways to provide this sort of
    Rich> documentation for their software?

    Rich> At 12:46 AM -0800 3/11/06, Rich Morin wrote:

> Given that Jonathan Schwartz has said:
>
>   We've got roughly 5000 people working on Solaris.
>
> it doesn't seem inappropriate for them to put a couple of programmers
> to work on mechanized documentation.

I think the argument is plausible, but I'd ask three further questions.

(1) To what extent can OSS hackers have the impact on (say) Solaris
that they can have with Linux or a *BSD?

(2) How big is OOo, something that I'd think one talented hacker could
have visible impact on?  10 programmers vs 5000 staff (maybe not the
same units!) on Solaris sounds like a drop in the bucket, but if you
consider 20 staff (including managers and support) for docs vs 100
staff for the whole project, that's a big hunk.

(3) Can Sun et al let control slip away, or are they going to need to
dedicate further staff to the care and feeding of hordes of volunteer
hackers attracted by the documentation?

They don't need to be answered precisely, but I think we need a feel
for similar questions.


-- 
Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering   University of Tsukuba
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        Economics of Information Communication and Computation Systems
          Experimental Economics, Microeconomic Theory, Game Theory