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Re^2: X-prize software challenge?

by dragonchild (Archbishop)
on Oct 15, 2004 at 15:11 UTC ( [id://399527] : note . print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: X-prize software challenge?
in thread X-prize software challenge?

I think the bigger difference is that software is relatively cheap to create, even complex software like operating systems, web browsers, graphic rendering, general-purpose servers, and even languages itself. The cost for SpaceShipOne to win the M$10 Ansari prize has been estimated at over M$20. That doesn't count the amount the other 70-odd entrants spent. It's arguable that nearly M$500 was spent on the Ansari prize. It's doubtful that this much has been spent on any major opensource software offering, even Linux.

Part of the other problem is that privately-funded space travel is fungible. Software, intrinsically, is not, notwithstanding the excellent efforts from Redmond. And, given the efforts of Google and others, it's rapidly becoming less fungible.

My feeling is that a good software X-Prize would be something along the lines of true generic natural-language processing or a program that plays Go at the master level. Feasible ... just "Really Hard"™.

There used to be a prize for a Go program, but the person offering it passed away in 1997. Maybe, someone much richer than I should take it back up. A master-level Go program on today's hardware would be a quantum advance in certain algorithms.

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Re^3: X-prize software challenge?
by iburrell (Chaplain) on Oct 15, 2004 at 17:15 UTC
    Software is relatively expensive to produce. It takes lots of time by skilled workers to produce. Open source looks cheap because it is being done by volunteers. Or by companies where the cost is hidden.

    There was a recent email on the Linux kernel mailing list about the cost to reproduce Linux 2.6 from scratch. It used a standard model. With over 4 million lines,takes over 1300 person-years of effort. To finish in 8 years requires over 150 developers, for $175 million in salaries.

    It bet if you added up the research and development expenses of open source companies, you would end up with a significant chunk of change.