From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
David A. Wheeler (born 1965) is a computer
scientist . He is
best known for his work on Open source
software/Free-libre software (FLOSS or OSS/FS) and
In 2000, Wheeler self-published "Why Open Source
Software / Free Software? Look at the Numbers!", a
collection of quantitative studies where he argued that considering
FLOSS is justified. This article has been cited in over 80
scholarly works  and in
government reports such as the 2004 report of the California
Wheeler further discussed issues in gathering quantitative data
(related to the webpage) in a Linux.com interview..
In 2001, Wheeler published a webpage where
he measured the source lines of code of the Red Hat Linux
distribution version 7.1. By applying conventional
cost-estimating techniques, he concluded that it would cost more
than a billion US Dollars to develop this distribution by
conventional proprietary means. This work has inspired at least one
person to measure other FLOSS systems, the Debian distribution.
In 2006, Wheeler posted "Nearly all FLOSS is
Commercial". on his
webpage. This is a critical issue in U.S. federal government acquisitions,
because the U.S. government has laws and policies that prefer the
acquisition of commercial items. He argues that FLOSS is defined as
commercial software by the government's own rules, and believes
that no one else had clearly articulated that before.
In 1999 Wheeler released the book-formated webpage "Secure
Programming for Linux and Unix HOWTO" . It
targeted software developers (instead of
security experts) and talked about the specifics of how to develop
secure programs, including how to avoid buffer overflows and cross-site scripting (XSS) in
Wheeler has also developed a webpage that identifies what he
believes to be the most important software innovations. . He
said that "humankind has been impacted by major new innovations
in software technology... but the number of major new innovations
is smaller than you might expect". At the end, he was amused
that his own criteria for "the most important software
innovations" listed only things first implemented as open
source software, and nothing that have been created by Microsoft (as he singled
Besides posting writings on his webpage, Wheeler has had some
work published in at least two occasions (none of those related to
open source software):
- Wheeler David A., Brykczynski Bill,
Meeson Reginald N.,Meeson Jr. Reginald N. (1996). Software
Inspection: An Industry Best Practice. IEEE Computer Society
Press. pp. 293. ISBN
- Wheeler, David A. (1997). Ada
95: The Lovelace Tutorial. Springer. pp. 292. ISBN
Raphaël Bauduin (2001). "A 'Secure Programming'
interview" (html). http://web.archive.org/web/20020605075139/http://www.fosdem.org/interviews/1568.html.
A. (2000). "Why Open Source Software /
Free Software (OSS/FS, FOSS, or FLOSS)? Look at the Numbers!"
(html). Self-published on David's own webpage. http://www.dwheeler.com/oss_fs_why.html.
"Google Scholar, citations of
Wheeler: Why Open Source Software/Free Software (OSS/FS)? Look at
the Numbers!" (html). http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&lr=&safe=off&cites=10006446719379482850.
Schwarzenegger, Arnold (2004). "Explore Open Source
Alternatives". The California Performance Review.
State of California. http://web.archive.org/web/20060923031854/cpr.ca.gov/report/cprrpt/issrec/stops/it/so10.htm.
'Roblimo', Robin (2004-04-07). "How useful are 'proprietary vs. open source' TCO
studies?" (html). http://www.linux.com/articles/35298. Retrieved
A. (2001). "More than a Gigabuck:
Estimating GNU/Linux's Size" (html). Self-published on David's
own webpage. http://www.dwheeler.com/sloc.
Amor-Iglesias, Juan-José; Jesús M.
González-Barahona, Gregorio Robles-Martínez, and Israel
Herráiz-Tabernero (June 2005). "Measuring Libre Software
Using Debian 3.1 (Sarge) as A Case Study: Preliminary Results".
Upgrade (Novática on behalf of CEPIS (Council of European
Professional Informatics Societies)) VI (3):
13–16. ISSN 1684-5285. http://www.upgrade-cepis.org/issues/2005/3/up6-3Amor.pdf. Retrieved
A. (2006-2008). "Commercial” is not the
opposite of Free-Libre / Open Source Software (FLOSS)" (html).
Self-published on David's own webpage. http://www.dwheeler.com/essays/commercial-floss.html.
A. (1999-2003). "Secure Programming for Linux
and Unix HOWTO" (html). Self-published on David's own
A. (2001-2008). "The Most Important Software Innovations"
(html). Self-published on David's own webpage. http://www.dwheeler.com/innovation.