Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Value of ASF Projects

Matt Asay wrote an interesting piece last week, that took a rough stab at the "worth" of Open Source code under the care of the Linux Foundation. All the right caveats are there, of course: this isn't really the "worth" of the code, but an approximate cost in developer-years to produce that many lines of code. Fair enough, but when the number that pops out is $5 billion, that says something awesome. No matter how you may want to fiddle with the methodology, there are very few companies on the planet that can or have produced that much code.

Then he threw out the question: does the code under the umbrella of the Apache Software Foundation have that beat? It made me curious ...

I went to OpenHub and got its list of 340 Apache projects. For each project, I fetched the "lines of code" dataset used to produce a project's chart of LOC over time. After some edge case rejects, I had LOC for 332 projects at Apache, that OpenHub knows about. The result?

The ASF represents 177,229,680 lines of code, compared to Linux Foundation's 115 million.

So yes, by this crude measure, the ASF is "worth" something like $7.5 billion.

Talk amongst yourselves...

(obviously, I didn't use Wheeler's COCOMO model, but how far off could the value be on such a large/varied dataset? I think it's also interesting that the ASF provides a space for all this to happen with a budget of only about $1 million a year)