Subject: Re: Back to business [was: the Be thread]
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999 16:25:19 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "Ian" == Ian Lance Taylor <> writes:

    Ian> I don't think Cygnus depends on the amount of ``spin-up;'' I
    Ian> think it depends more on being able to mobilize several
    Ian> people with experience in the relevant areas, and being able
    Ian> to correctly estimate the time required to do the work, and
    Ian> simply on doing a good job on schedule time and time again
    Ian> and thus reducing the risk to the prospective customer.

This is very much part of what I meant by "spin-up" (in business
practice), although Crispin's phrasing could easily be interpreted, as
you have, in a purely technical sense.  But I think it unlikely that a
business could compete with Cygnus on the basis of _one_ brilliant
programmer who completed "spin-up," and I doubt Crispin does either.

If you have a preferred term, fine.  If not, I would like to define
"spin-up" for a business to cover building a team as you describe.

I don't presume a closely integrated team, though.  One of my
hypotheses about the success of the Linux kernel is that high levels
of modularization made it possible to explicitly delegate "core" parts
of the kernel to single trusted individuals, and also to implicitly
delegate lots of stuff that no single maintainer could possibly deal
with the whole range (drivers, including whole subsystems like IrDA)
to Anonymous Contributors.

This meant that individuals boning up on technical stuff dominates the
"spin-up" cost, since the team is relatively small and its members
relatively independent.

One advantage of free software/open source software development
practice is that the bazaar model of project organization is easily
available, and very natural (at least since the development of
distributed revision control like CVS).  So taking advantage of lower
"coordination spin-up" costs is also natural.

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