In the Australian Computerworld article about there being not enough developers of OOo/Star Office, Ken Foskey is quoted as saying there are now 50 people working on the program for Sun in Germany, ten for Novell, and only four independent developers. So much for the magic of Open Source.
Erwin Tenhumberg replies that he won’t talk about numbers, but that the ratio is misleading. This caught my eye because three or four years ago, when I first started using the program, one of the German developers told me that there were over 100 people employed on it in Hamburg. I can’t run down the email right now, but it did appear one one of the public lists. We have been reading for years about Sun making fresh rounds of layoffs, without any specifics. Occasionally well-known and admired sun developers have vanished from these lists. But to go from around 110 developers to around 50 in four years must have had a bad effect on the project.
UPDATE: three or four Sun developers piled in on the lists to say that there were still plenty of them, and there had never been more than 50 developers in Hamburg at any time. The rest were QA people and other support trooops, if that’s the analogy.