Giving Away Software For Free Costs More Than You Would Think (Part 3)

For those of you less inclined to surfing all over my website, here’s a quick recap:

Part 1
: Did you know that the Ubuntu software repository contains 23,164 packages? I also introduce the Constructive Cost Model (COCOMO), and finally, reference an article quoting that Debian ‘cost’ 1.9 billion dollars to develop back in year 2000.

Part 2: I detail my plan of attack to find out how much the Ubuntu distribution ‘cost’ to develop using COCOMO and SLOCCount by David Wheeler. Without his excellent program, this article would not be possible.

Downloading the source code took nearly 2 days, due to the nature of apt-get, you must first build dependencies, then download the actual source code. There were some annoying programs that once downloaded, require user input (such as LILO) and that paused the downloading process until I provided some human input.

It took over 8 hours for SLOCCount to process all 51,447 files downloaded, with a 3.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor.

I started this project with a brand new Gutsy Gibbon installation. By the time all was said and done,my hard drive contained 92.8 GB of gzipped source files, patches, graphics, etc – everything needed to build Ubuntu from scratch- and installed nearly 10 GB of dependencies.

Opening Nautilus and browsing to /usr/src makes my computer freeze for nearly 2 minutes while my 10,000rpm SATA hard drive reads the directory structure. When running the LS command on /usr/src recursively, it takes over 20 minutes to finish running.

Computer software engineers make approximately 75,000 yearly salary according to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics.

Without further ado, here are numbers you came for:

Source Lines Of Code: 121,131,661
Person-Months: 1,208,967.6
Person-Days: 24,179,353
Person-Hours: 193,434,823
Duration Years: 18.4
Duration Months: 221.0
Duration Days: 4419
Duration Hours: 35,354

Total Price: $7,033,290,160

Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon and all available software packages included in the software repositories would take over 7 BILLION dollars to re-write from the ground up. Don’t believe it? Remember, this number counts source code from projects such as Mozilla Firefox and OpenOffice.org which are behemoths in and of themselves.

If you enjoyed this article, please Digg it, or subscribe to my RSS feed – I’ve got a new article coming up this weekend that ‘violates’ all that is holy with Ubuntu Christian Edition.

Article Index:
Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: Method
Part 3: Conclusion