The Cathedral and the Bazaar

The Cathedral and the Bazaar by Eric S. Raymond

 Or should we say cathedral versus bazaar

The cathedral and the Bazaar 


Eric Raymond is widely regarded as the anthropologist of the hacker community. In 1999, he published this very famous essay comparing/contrasting two method of software development.


  • The cathedral method in which roles are clearly defined in terms of programmers, architects and testers, and of course the source code are not available to the public.


  • The Bazaar method is the complete opposite, is concept is based on:


Users should be treated as code-developers, where they have access to source code and have the means to fix them.

Early releases of software versions, so co-developers can be found quickly.

Frequent integration, to avoid the overhead of fixing large numbers of bugs at the end of a project life-cycle, and integration that can be done almost daily.

Several versions are made available, one including a buggier version, the other the more stable version. In this way, the users can continue to act as co-developers, fixing bugs and enhancing the systems, while the stable version provides less features and bugs.

High modularization that allows parallel development of  the software.

Dynamic decision-making structure, a forum is making decisions, based on changing user requirements and other factors. Linux is the best example ever.


Obviously there is the pro and con, but the open source community is growing everyday, making incredible tools, source code and support available for everyone, and sometime even better compares big companies such as Microsoft.


 Few months ago, when Microsoft office 2007 was released, a group of people refused openly to pay the ridiculous amount of money required to get the licence and they decide to work on how to hack it, not because they could not afford it, but because they believed that this software should be on open source one, or at least at a reasonable price.

Even IBM few months ago opted for a Linux operating system as part of their package. Obviously not everything should be free, but non commercial use or even fair use should be…..


Why do they do it?


Well I think this website answer that question quiet well…..


As an individual, not being part of company, that would be a fantastic learning opportunity, or even a way get some outside input to develop a project/software, and the best of all recognition….






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