“Cathedral and Bazaar” thoughts

I finished reading Eric Raymon’s “Cathedral and Bazaar” paper two days before writing this and so have had some time to let the ideas inside the paper stew.  The paper does a very good job of contrasting the two methods of developing projects, the corporate Cathedral style of a few specialized “sages” working hard to come to the finished project on their own before showing it the world.  And the freesource Bazaar method of release early, release often with a transparency that allows many eyes to scan the project before anything has been finalized.

With these “many eyes” the bug or issue is going to be easily apparent to someone and perhaps the solution equally easily identifiable.  This allows for a rapid development that could not happen in the Cathedral method.  But there has to be someone steering the ship if you’ll excuse the mixed metaphors.  Eric was in charge of his test project and in the end all design decisions were up to him.  It will be interesting to see how this method works where there aren’t just many “eyes” but just as many “hands” on the code.

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