Subject: Re: http://www.nytimes.com/library/financial/columns/042000econ-scene.html
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com>
Date: 20 May 2000 14:16:20 -0700

   Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 12:52:01 -0400 (EDT)
   From: Keith Bostic <bostic@abyssinian.sleepycat.com>

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   http://www.nytimes.com/library/financial/columns/042000econ-scene.html

	   What are we to think when the best of the best -- the elite
	   programmers that industry wisdom deems 100 times more productive
	   than the typical competent coder -- donate their precious time to
	   develop software anyone can use without charge? That is the puzzle
	   the open-source movement, most famous for the Linux operating
	   system, presents to economists.

I didn't think much of that article.  It's about as much of a puzzle
as people donating their precious time to soup kitchens.  People work
on free software for all sorts of reasons, but it's not like there is
any big mystery about them.

The surprising thing is the amount of leverage people can get from
free software; unlike a soup kitchen, a few hours spent on free
software can translate into thousands of hours saved by users around
the world.

I personally doubt that ``elite programmers'' put any more time into
free software than run of the mill programmers.  The elite programmers
simply have significantly more effect on free software, just as they
on ordinary software.

Ian