The Linux source code is estimated to be over 30 millions lines of code which, using conventional methods, would have taken almost 8,000 person years at a cost of over $1 trillion
First, we can’t count the number of lines? We can only estimate?
Second, that works out to $33,333 per line of code. Holy fuck. Really? Writing a driver for the freaking Sound Blaster card was a million dollar project?
It’s also hard to square that number with 8000 person years. Figure a $100K salary. That pays for 3 lines of code per year. But times 8000 that means the Linux kernel can only be 24000 lines of code.
I don’t agree with the final number either, but a line of code rewritten and analyzed 100 times is worth about 100 times as much as a line of code written and forgotten. Architecture is valuable. Code review is valuable. And final lines of code written is a terrible metric for anything.
the referenced Wheeler article appears to be about redhat 7.1.. the whole distro! The linked article sure did make a leap from that to just the kernel, and oddly increased the cost too.
“Now there’s an implausible-sounding claim!”
Following the supporting link in parent, I notice the original claim is for a billion dollar price tag; “It would cost over $1 billion (a Gigabuck) to develop this Linux distribution by conventional proprietary means in the U.S. (in year 2000 U.S. dollars).”
Seems much plausible and supported, see: