Series: The Cathedral and the Bazaar
Since the Netscape release we’ve seen a tremendous explosion of interest in the open-source development model, a trend both driven by and driving the continuing success of the Linux operating system. The trend Mozilla touched off is continuing at an accelerating rate.
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it is often cheaper and more effective to recruit self-selected volunteers from the Internet than it is to manage buildings full of people who would rather be doing something else.
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in the end the open-source culture will triumph not because cooperation is morally right or software “hoarding” is morally wrong , but simply because the closed-source world cannot win an evolutionary arms race with open-source communities that can put orders of magnitude more skilled time into a problem.
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it is not critical that the coordinator be able to originate designs of exceptional brilliance, but it is absolutely critical that the coordinator be able to recognize good design ideas from others.
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although I’m a convinced partisan of the “make it a language” school of design as exemplified by Emacs and HTML and many database engines, I am not normally a big fan of “English-like” syntaxes.
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most science and engineering and software development isn’t done by original genius, hacker mythology to the contrary.
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Interestingly enough, you will quickly find that if you are completely and self-deprecatingly truthful about how much you owe other people, the world at large will treat you as though you did every bit of the invention yourself and are just being becomingly modest about your innate genius.
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From the beginning of the project, I got bug reports of a quality most developers would kill for, often with good fixes attached. I got thoughtful criticism, I got fan mail, I got intelligent feature suggestions.
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source-code awareness by both parties greatly enhances both good communication and the synergy between what a beta-tester reports and what the core developer(s) know. In turn, this means that the core developers’ time tends to be well conserved, even with many collaborators.
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you assume that bugs are generally shallow phenomena—or, at least, that they turn shallow pretty quickly when exposed to a thousand eager co-developers pounding on every single new release.
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“the ferment, the innovation mostly takes place in the open part of the tool where a large and varied community can tinker with it.”
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- Filed under Politics
August 23, 2017
August 23, 2017
While tracing the orign of fetchmail, Eric Raymond teases out some of the principles he considers important for creation of great software products.
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Who would have thought that a world-class operating system could coalesce as if by magic out of part-time hacking by several thousand developers scattered all over the planet, connected only by the tenuous strands of the Internet?
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