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19 October 2008

The Cost of Open Source Software

What is the meaning of open source software freedom? The interesting thing is that these open source software are written by many people without any expectations (financial at least). I'm starting to think that so many people from so many different countries have never before actively cooperated and shared like this before.

There is a site called Ohloh which can be seen as a portal that follows the progress of open source software. Usually every open source project is accompanied by interesting statistics and predictions.

These statistics shows how many lines a code is composed of, how many active developers there are, what language the software was written in and many more bits of information. Yet I find the prediction part most interesting. This prediction shows what the total cost would be if the project was re-made from scratch. This prediction is based on the COCOMO model. The predictions showed many compelling values. Moreover these predictions imply that developers should gain a yearly income of 55.000 dollars!

Here are some total costs of some of the most popular open source projects so far

  • Mozilla Firefox: $830.000
  • Apache HTTP Server: $2.983.791
  • Linux Kernel (Seed Only): $177.004.094
  • PHP: $25.023.881
  • Open Office: $138.706.367
  • GIMP: $19.527.651
  • VLC Media Player: $7.163.299
  • GNOME: $285.322.119
  • KDE: $66.999.594
  • MediaWiki (The software behind Wikipedia): $16.792.050
  • Wordpress: $1.108.448
  • Blender: $31.507. 688
  • Debian GNU/Linux: $334.229.025
  • Pardus: $19.195.422

We must not forget that these software are only a chosen few. Hence the tip of the iceberg. I think this is very profound situation. What do you think?

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