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IBM developerWorks: Brooks' Law and open source: The more the merrier?

Jun 06, 2000, 14:28 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paul Jones)

[ Thanks to Bob Grabau for this link. ]

"An aphorism from some twenty years ago, Brooks' Law, holds that adding more programmers to a project only delays it. But if this is so, what accounts for Linux? Paul Jones gathers perspectives on the open source development method and whether it defies conventional wisdom."

"What a difference open source makes: it appears to break all the old rules. Or does it? With open source, so we are told, all the rules of programming, sales, marketing, and customer relations have to be rewritten. But there is evidence that beneath the rhetoric of open source, the hard school of experience casts a shadow on the most optimistic claims for open source software and open source practices. Do thousands of programmers really stand ready to write quality code to solve common problems or are there restraints inherent in development that prohibit scaling up into world-wide software projects?"

"This little book by Fredrick Brooks, The Mythical Man Month (or M3 among its most ardent followers), has become a kind of bible for software developers. Brooks received the Turing Prize, often called "the Nobel Prize of Computing," from the Association for Computing Machinery this year."

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