Subject: Re: Why Open Source Sucks for the Consumer
From: Frank Hecker <frank@collab.net>
Date: Fri, 01 Sep 2000 10:51:11 -0400

Frank Hecker wrote re "The 1999 IDC Worldwide Professional Developer
Model" and estimating usage of various languages:
> Now the interesting thing is that the IDC report has no data on Perl or
> JavaScript; in fact, Perl is not even mentioned in the report. (Ditto
> for Python.) Aparently IDC estimates the number of "developer seats"
> based on the number of "packaged software licenses"; hence I suspect
> that the report severely undercounts developers using languages like
> Perl that are primarily supported by free software products.

I need to correct myself here. After rereading the methodology section
of the IDC report (which is not bad for an analyst report BTW), it
appears that IDC estimated language usage based on surveys of developers
in various regions of the world. They then combined this "language
penetration rate" data (i.e., percentage of developers using a
particular language or language category) with separate estimates of the
number of developers to obtain the number of developers using various
languages.

So I think the IDC estimates on Java and C/C++ use are probably
reasonable, and account for factors like the use of compilers bundled
with operating systems, the use of "pirated" versions of proprietary
compilers, and so on. However I still note that the IDC data can't be
used to estimate use of Perl, Python, JavaScript, and other languages,
because those languages aren't broken out into their own category (and
except perhaps for JavaScript it's not exactly clear which category
they'd be counted in).

Frank
-- 
Frank Hecker            work: http://www.collab.net/
frank@collab.net        home: http://www.hecker.org/