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Paperback The Cathedral & the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary Book

ISBN: 0596001088

ISBN13: 9780596001087

The Cathedral & the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary

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Book Overview

Open source provides the competitive advantage in the Internet Age. According to the August Forrester Report, 56 percent of IT managers interviewed at Global 2,500 companies are already using some type of open source software in their infrastructure and another 6 percent will install it in the next two years. This revolutionary model for collaborative software development is being embraced and studied by many of the biggest players in the high-tech...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

A classic.

Eric Scott Raymond is described as "An Accidental Revolutionary," as he took a leading role in analyzing and documenting the changes and growth of the Open Source (or "Free Software") movement that he, as a programmer, is part of. He's one of the "famous" people in hacker culture. This collection of essays by ESR gives the reader a glimpse into the world of Hackers (good programmers, not to be confused with people who break into computers, those are "crackers"). He goes into how and why it works, what the pros and cons of open source vs. closed source software is, and predicts where things will go in the future. Because this book is separated into individual essays that he has written, it's easy just to go through and read what you want. But to any person who is playing a part, or who wants to play a part in the hacker world, the whole thing is a must read. It gives you a lot to think about when it comes to the open source world, and builds up a great respect and understanding of the people pioneering it.

The Anthropology of Hackerdom

Eric Raymond is the Margaret Mead of the Open Source movement. His analysis of the gift culture as a model for explaining why hackers write software without recieving direct financial compensation is original, and as far as I know, unique. The economic implications are vast: if programmers write programs as a hobby, and do not stand in need of income for doing so (assume that they have day jobs), with rewards being in the form of status and reputation, then why buy the equivalent of what they're giving away? Linux is the focus of this branch of the hacker-programming movement, which can also be seen at work in Apache and Java. The nature of the movement - everyone agreeing to play by Open Source rules, a leader (Linus Torvalds) who sets goals but does not exert formal authority, and a market (the Bazaar) where knowledge is dispersed throughout, reminds one of the Austrian Economists, who believed that a system operating as a spontaneous order would show greater productivity than a command economy, because of the exponentially greater amount of brain power in use. Raymond makes much the same point, when he argues that, "With enough eyes, all bugs are shallow." For Microsoft, this is a deadly threat. Proprietary software and operating systems are expensive, to develop and to buy. If Open Source products are seen as being of like kind and quality, them software becomes a commodity, and branded, proprietary products, and the businesses that sell them, are facing inevitible decline in their core market. If Raymond's thesis is correct (I believe, as a layman, that it is), then by 2010, Windows may have gone the way of the British Empire - living in memore (digital or otherwise) only.-LLoyd A. Conway

I could not put it down!

I read it in one evening. It was extremely well written. Eric Raymond is a hacker with a tremendous command of the English language. He imparts information and his beliefs in a way that even non-geeks should understand. I gave it to my boss and he was fascinated also. This book is an important work that juxtaposes the traditional "Cathedral" style of software development (i.e. Microsoft) with the contemorary "Bazaar" style in which open source software is written (i.e. Linux). It explains how hackers all over the world somehow came together to form a formidable revolution of open source software. Linus Torvalds started it. Eric Raymond explained it. Long live the revolution! I have been using Linux for 2 years so I am partial of course. But ask yourself - Why would you pay for mediocre software, created by good people with bad deadlines, when you can get better software, created by good people for the love of it, for free, that is better supported?

A successful method for collaborative innovation

Having struggled for many years to force developers to use software development processes that were intrinsically limiting and disheartening because they did not allow people to do what they new to be right. I was tremendously relieved to see how software can come together using this style of development. Not only does it work it also makes people feel proud of their work and committed to producing high quality deliverables.The sooner software development professionals accept that their vocation is a craft and will never be an engineering discipline the better for all of us. When we start to treat developers with the respect deserved by craftsmen and give them the autonomy they desire we will start to see software that actually does what it is supposed to do with a high level of quality.This book talks about these issues and many more. If you develop software you cannot afford to ignore it. But more importantly this book talks about a successful method for collaborative innovation. Which should exite anyone who needs to harness creativity.
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