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

Edwin Groothuis edwin at mavetju.org
Wed Oct 3 16:48:14 EST 2007

On Wed, Oct 03, 2007 at 04:18:59PM +1000, steve jenkin wrote:
> 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
>     Tridge
>     Linus

I've heard that Bill Joy did some impressive stuff in his time.

> 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!]

You can't really say I'm a fanboy, or a hater (since the world is
only black and white), but to this I would only say that at least
Thompson and RMS got their own dust.

> 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.


I am not sure what you are trying to achieve, but I don't think I
like what you are trying to do.

Edwin Groothuis      |            Personal website: http://www.mavetju.org
edwin at mavetju.org    |              Weblog: http://www.mavetju.org/weblog/

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