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the evolution of software development


In a recent entry on his weblog Eric Raymond replies to a critique of open source by Steven de Beste. If we are reaching a limit of "sustainability" in software project sizes and are therefore about to "hit a wall", is open source the only answer to it?

Personally, I don't think so. Both open and closed source have their place, and large software teams exist for both development systems, some even with "mixed environments."

Now, what I really would like to know is where Raymond gets some of his "facts" such as "Software project sizes are roughly doubling every eighteen months." How, exactly, is this estimate reached? Size regarding what? Lines of code? Classes? People? In which context? And even if some measure of software was growing at that rate, that might not necessarily mean much. Lindes of code, for example, rise possibly by an order of magnitude when switching from procedural to object oriented code, and yet the code ends up being cleaner (since the interfaces used are more abstract) and easier to maintain. So maybe somebody should define what the terms of the discussion are before everybody gets all worked up about these things.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on August 10 2002 at 2:19 AM

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