How many professionals (in paid time) develop Free Software?
Posted Feb 23, 2007 15:06 UTC (Fri) by ber
Parent article: Who wrote 2.6.20?
| There has been little research, however, into how much work on Linux is
| truly "volunteer" - done on a hacker's spare, unpaid time. In general,
| the assumption that Linux is created by volunteers is simply accepted.
True and while our editor actually examines Linux and not the operating
system around it, I would like to expand the hypothese to Free Software
and GNU/Linux in general.
A few years ago I first looked at the problem
and the only backed-up number I found was from
[Lakhani et al. 2002]
Karim Lakhani, Bob Wolf, Jeff Bates and Chris DiBona Hacker Survey v0.73,
24.6.2002, Boston Consulting Group http://www.osdn.com/bcg
You can estimate from it that about 40% of the stable Free Software
(they have pulled their sample from) was developed in paid time.
To do this you can look at the participating people (25% professionals
in paid time) and the how much they contribute (twice as many hours)
and end up with about 40%. Given that someone spending more hours
could be more effective, the effect could be even higher.
Of course the sample has systematic errors, like that groups that have had
their own infrastructure like GNU or BSD are probably underrepresented.
I have also mentioned the number in my paper from 2004:
which got published in a peer-reviewed magazin. (German only).
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