Ever wondered how much open source saves you?

Lately I was thinking about quantities of code.

More specifically, how a typical web application relates to the amount of open-source code used in it?

As an example, let's see a mutual-fund-search web application we have developed about a year and a half ago. It's written in PHP, uses MySQL, uses an MVC framework (an in-house one, so in the calculation I'll use CakePHP), uses jQuery, and is served by an Apache that runs on FreeBSD. All of these projects are on ohloh.net, so I'll use the numbers (number of code lines, development cost in USD, development time in man-years) from there.

I've made a chart of how the code size measures up (cost, lines of code, programmer years):


What? Let's see it zoomed in, once again:


I don't know about you, but I was blown away how true that statement is, "We are standing on the shoulders of giants".

We rarely imagine how expensive software development would be without open source components.

And I'm not even counting the development tools like source control (git, mercurial), editor (vim, emacs, eclipse, netbeans), testing tools (selenium, ab), and others...

Shameless plug: I'm a freelance software architect (resume), have a look at my services!

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