On Thu, Oct 18, 2001 at 11:41:02AM +0100, Gavin McCullagh wrote:
> On Thu, 18 Oct 2001, Matthew French wrote:
> > Hmmm. I think it is not so much economies of scale, but the amount
> > of work that needs to go into producing software.
>> How much work do you think goes into say the Oxford Dictionary?
See my last point. The Oxford dictionary has been "developed" over
hundreds of years. Anyway, the complete Oxford dictionary was pretty
expensive until recently... (AFAIR £1,000 for a set).
> > A book does not need to be tested or debugged. If it has a few
> > typos then nobody will mind.
A book does not need to be tested or debugged.
Does that make it any clearer? :)
> Of course it must be consistent! Not every book is a novel. When
> was the last time you looked at a scientific textbook?
About 7 years ago. But I remember enough typos and incorrect
calculations to know that textbooks are not perfect.
> Huge work has to go into it. You can consider typos and errors as
> the same as bugs. If there's too many, people won't buy it.
> Admittedly the rest of the book works, but that's the same with a
> small bug in a program.
I have published theses, books and software. And I can honestly say
that publishing a book is a hundred times easier than publishing a
software product. Also, as the size grows a software program becomes
considerably more complex than a book.
> Well I don't know about that but I agree it's horrendously
> expensive. I've built a few machines for friends who need/want this
> stuff and even the OEM copies are very expensive.
As someone else mentioned, one reason MS can't drop their prices is
that it would be considered anti-competitive. Which is why I expect to
see Word costing $5 in the next few years when the competition hots
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