[AUUG-Talk]: Good examples of highly-productive coders...

steve jenkin sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au
Wed Oct 3 16:18:59 EST 2007

Would you be able to help me with putting together a list of "highly
productive programmers"?

Off the top of my head:
    Ken Thompson
    Rob Pike

That I can't reel off more is my ignorance ;-)

I don't know how to come up with a good metric for 'productivity' - it
isn't just Lines of Code :-)
[i.e. measuring programmer 'output' automatically is an unsolved & maybe
unsolvable problem]

You'll notice I didn't include RMS on the list.
I've been reflecting on GNU & RMS [especially his bagging of Linus
recently over "Open" vs "Free"]
and realised there is a huge gap between the public perception of RMS &
his "legendary" coding powers and the reality.

Thompson & Linus both created new kernels from scratch in around 12 months.
RMS has been going on Hurd for approaching 20 years... [really!]

This first started when I found that Windows "Longhorn" took ~3 years
for a team of *10,000* (yes!) to fail.
My guesstimate of "Plan 9" was ~25 man-yrs:
2 years [1989-90] and maybe 10 people, but I haven't found any good
history of the project

The 'Gold Standard' output of this line of thinking would be a table of
LOC output of some of the truly great programmers
[or maybe, 'years to complete kernel-equivalent']. But I don't know if
that'll be possible.

I'd love to be able to demonstrate RMS and GNU don't live up to their hype.


Steve Jenkin, Info Tech, Systems and Design Specialist.
0412 786 915 (+61 412 786 915)
PO Box 48, Kippax ACT 2615, AUSTRALIA

sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au http://members.tip.net.au/~sjenkin

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