[PD] The economics of Open source

Hans-Christoph Steiner hans at at.or.at
Wed Mar 23 22:10:47 CET 2011

I think that free software business models definitely lead to better  
code.  I am now working with the Google Android IM app, which was  
programmed by a software company, then later open sourced.  The code  
works, but is a nightmare to figure out, things like 3 overlapping  
data structures for the account info for no good reason, lots of  
additions to the code with no refactoring, etc.


On Mar 22, 2011, at 6:27 PM, Charles Henry wrote:

> I thought I'd pose a question to you, for academic curiosity.  For  
> example, in my current line of work, cluster computing, there's a  
> lot of possible funding models for supporting maintenance, and they  
> all have different ~unintended consequences.  (ex) You lose  
> customers, waste cycles, delay research schedules, and they all have  
> some other costs associated.  Economics just works that way.
> But in general, I wonder what produces the best outcomes for  
> software development.  It's an impossible question to answer without  
> having much time to waste, so don't try too hard :)
> Could a open-source project with a funding model lead to better code  
> than a professional solution?
> Could you just dangle some cash on the end of a string and the cats  
> will just herd themselves?
> On Sat, Mar 19, 2011 at 2:34 PM, Mathieu Bouchard  
> <matju at artengine.ca> wrote:
> On Sat, 19 Mar 2011, Bernardo Barros wrote:
> Hello , Mathieu! Well, I did not refer to implementation of new  
> features, but the maintenance of that code that already works,  
> fixing bugs.
> Ok, so, basically, buggy software gets rewarded for requests to fix  
> bugs. Bugless software is not rewarded : it does not pay. Therefore  
> we are encouraged to put enough bugs in there so that we get money.  
> Nevermind the high-reliability ideals.
> (Of course, don't let my comments prevent you from contributing  
> money. I'm just trying to say that some assumptions about funding  
> may encourage the wrong things and cause strange compensations.)
> _______________________________________________________________________
> | Mathieu Bouchard ---- tél: +1.514.383.3801 ---- Villeray,  
> Montréal, QC
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The arc of history bends towards justice.     - Dr. Martin Luther  
King, Jr.

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