This contribution presents initial results in the study of the relationship between size, effort, duration and number of contributors in eleven evolving Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) projects, in the range from approx. 650,000 to 5,300,000 lines of code. Our initial motivation was to estimate how much effort is involved in achieving a large FLOSS system. Software cost estimation for proprietary projects has been an active area of study for many years. However, to our knowledge, no previous similar research has been conducted in FLOSS effort estimation. This research can help planning the evolution of future FLOSS projects and in comparing them with proprietary systems. Companies that are actively developing FLOSS may benefit from such estimates. Such estimates may also help to identify the productivity ’baseline’ for evaluating improvements in process, methods and tools for FLOSS evolution
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