David A. Wheeler

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David A. Wheeler
Photo of David Wheeler
Born1965 (age 52–53)
Alma materGeorge Mason University
Scientific career
ThesisFully Countering Trusting Trust through Diverse Double-Compiling (2009)
Doctoral advisorDaniel A. Menascé, Ravi Sandhu

David A. Wheeler (born 1965) is a computer scientist.[1][2] He works on open source software, free-libre software, and computer security.

Open Source Software[edit]

In 2000, Wheeler self-published "Why Open Source Software / Free Software? Look at the Numbers!",[3] a text where he argued that considering FLOSS is justified. According to Google Scholar, this article has been cited over 400 times in other scholarly works [4] and in the 2004 report of the California Performance Review.[5] Wheeler was interviewed about his webpage by Linux.com.[6]

In 2001, Wheeler published a webpage[7] 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 United States dollars to develop this distribution by conventional proprietary means. This work has inspired one person to measure other FLOSS systems, the Debian distribution.[8]

In 2006, Wheeler posted "Nearly all FLOSS is Commercial"[9] 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 him.

External Publications[edit]

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. p. 293. ISBN 0-8186-7340-0.
  • Wheeler, David A. (1997). Ada 95: The Lovelace Tutorial. Springer. p. 292. ISBN 0-387-94801-5.


  1. ^ Wheeler, David A. (2009). Fully Countering Trusting Trust through Diverse Double-Compiling (Ph.D.). George Mason University. p. 184.
  2. ^ Raphaël Bauduin (2001). "A 'Secure Programming' interview". Archived from the original on 2002-06-05.
  3. ^ Wheeler, David A. (2000). "Why Open Source Software / Free Software (OSS/FS, FOSS, or FLOSS)? Look at the Numbers!". Self-published on David's own webpage.
  4. ^ "Google Scholar, Wheeler: Why Open Source Software/Free Software (OSS/FS)? Look at the Numbers!".
  5. ^ "Explore Open Source Alternatives". The California Performance Review. State of California. 2004. Archived from the original on 2006-09-23.
  6. ^ 'Roblimo', Robin (2004-04-07). "How useful are 'proprietary vs. open source' TCO studies?". Retrieved 2008-09-14.
  7. ^ Wheeler, David A. (2001). "More than a Gigabuck: Estimating GNU/Linux's Size". Self-published on David's own webpage.
  8. ^ Amor-Iglesias, Juan-José; Jesús M. González-Barahona; Gregorio Robles-Martínez; Israel Herráiz-Tabernero (June 2005). "Measuring Libre Software Using Debian 3.1 (Sarge) as A Case Study: Preliminary Results" (PDF). Upgrade. Novática on behalf of CEPIS (Council of European Professional Informatics Societies). VI (3): 13–16. ISSN 1684-5285. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-04-28. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
  9. ^ Wheeler, David A. (2006–2008). "Commercial” is not the opposite of Free-Libre / Open Source Software (FLOSS)". Self-published on David's own webpage.

External links[edit]