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The Cathedral and the Bazaar

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  3,441 ratings  ·  160 reviews
Paperback, 50 pages
Published November 16th 2015 by Createspace (first published October 1999)
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3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,441 ratings  ·  160 reviews

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Jul 01, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: programming
This book describes two 'modes' or 'metaphors' for software development - the old 'Cathedral' one, in which a few programmers, locked away from the world, slowly release iterations of their software to the world, a mode employed by the business world. Then there's the new 'Bazaar', in which rapid development around a core team of developers is favoured, developers who are constantly in contact with users and co-developers - most of open source software development happens like this.

It's an inter
Joe White
Jun 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the Bible of the Open Source definition, this is a 5 star book. It also happens to be one of the few ever written which attempts to explain what open source is and define its motives and mechanics.

The issues I see with the book, which are being put forth from my own opinion 15 years after the books writing date and 12 years after this version's last update are these:

1. It too lightly sidestepped the issues surrounding the introduction of a new software version number. The statements and assum
Apr 06, 2013 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I'm intending to read this not because I have any knowledge of writing computer code or programming, and not because I have any particular interest in Linux except as a philosophy; however, picture a protagonist that is a HACKER, and the circumscribed and circuitous and serpentine paths that he followed through the strange years of the MILLENNIUM, and one might start to see something of an interesting story beginning to gather itself. Research for a possible PROJECT. How could a novel be shaped ...more
May 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a famous paean to Open Source software, a bit dated now but still relevant. It explains very clearly why the OS movement is so popular; it also gives you an idea of why so many OS advocates are insufferable zealots. Eric Raymond is an ideologue preaching his message, and while he makes good points (usually), it does get very preachy at times (and also ignores some of the economic realities). Good reading if you're really into geek sociology and want to understand why Linux really was rat ...more
Odd Ropstad
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is an exploration into the world of Open Source, and the culture that goes with it. It goes beyond the definitions and the initial perception and instead gives an inside view of a universe of hackers, magic cauldrons, bazaars and John Locke.

Open Source is nothing more than a development methodology, with its own sets of rules and principles. The difference from other methodologies is that the developers are not working in close approximation to each other. They are exclusively communic
Erika RS
This is a collection of essays which are all available online but nice to have in book form. The common theme through all the essays is explaining, from an insider's point of view, who hackers are and why open source software seems to work so well. Although ESR can sometimes brush off the commercial world (and even the academic world) a bit quickly, his essays feel right to me overall.

I think he is right about why open source software tends to be of such good quality (frequent small releases, u
Caique Marques
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comp_sci, non-fiction
Primeiramente publicado como um ensaio para o um congresso, a obra de Eric S. Raymond acabou se tornado um livro. É interessante notar de como ele divide o desenvolvimento de tecnologias open-source de duas categorias: catedral, onde o código é liberado publicamente a cada nova versão, entretanto, o desenvolvimento está restrito a um pequeno grupo e o exemplo que Raymond cita é o GCC (GNU Compiler Collection); o bazar é o estilo onde cada novo lançamento o código é disponibilizado, mas o desenvo ...more
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: technology
The closest I've come to programming is HTML 4 and Excel, so a lot of this book was over my head. A someone who sorely missed the heady days of the 1990s when the Internet was a distinct place and some thought the beginning of a new world -- one free from control, allowing for limitless self-expression and an alternate society -- I found much else here fascinating. Particularly noteworthy were Raymond's connections between Linux-style open source development and the emergent order of free econom ...more
Alexander Smith
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a piece of history and an introduction to a culture that (if you're interested in real "hacker culture" and online culture) is not explained at its technological, economic, and social origins as well in any other text that I've seen. No more explanations are necessary. If you are interested in how born-web-native culture works, this is where you start.
Dipti Ranjan Biswal
Must read for anyone who is even remotely related to software development or management.
Patrick Coakley
The Cathedral & The Bazaar is a set of essays that documents a specific period in time, the rise of Linux in the 90’s, with a bit of history to explain UNIX and the state of computers up until that point. It does a decent job of giving you an idea of what the open-source community was like at the beginning until roughly 1998. The author, Eric S. Raymond (also known as esr), has been involved in some way or another with open-source software since the movement began in the 80’s, and is also on ...more
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mebbe-again
Good, quick analysis of the strengths of open source software and how an open source project should be managed (at a very high level). Something worth reading for every software entrepreneur and developer, or at least worth skimming.
Oct 03, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: computer
How does a gift economy work? EricRaymond has a collection of essays written over the 1990's looking at the culture o software programming, in particular the subculture that develops and uses open source (or free software). In particular, his writings attempt to explain why does open source not fall into the trap of the free rider problem or the tragedy of the commons.

The answer he comes up with are several. One is the concept of 'scratch your own itch'. The idea that programmers find something
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author discusses the main points of difference between the two styles of software development i.e. the one employed by corporate organisations(microsoft and the likes) called as the cathedral by the author and the one adopted by the open source community (made popular by the success of linux kernel development) called as the bazaar by the author. He emphasizes on why the second model/approach leads to a much better software product even though it seems counter intuitive. All the points that ...more
Bastian Greshake Tzovaras
It's kind of funny to read, because there are so many cornerstones of techno-libertarian ideology presented in the essays. At the time the essays were written it was probably all kind of new and exciting, but nowadays those positions are kinda hard to defend.

The parts about Linus Torvalds are gold, as it's argued that he's such a sweet and agreeable person. And it's also pointed out how not attacking the authors and speaking softly are core skills when working in a Bazaar-like environment. I gu
Jim Witschey
Nov 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've just started learning to use Unix systems and do some serious coding this year. This book is a really interesting look into the past 20 years or so of computing and how things came to be the way they are. ESR's writings collected here remind me just how crazy it is that Apache running on Linux is the most widely-used server setup on the web, that Perl and gcc are ubiquitous, and that the browser with the second-biggest market share is open-source. All in all, a very interesting and instruct ...more
Jun 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating look at the history of open source software and an interesting attempt to analyse its origins and imperatives. The. book is a bit dated in places and, with the benefit of hindsight, some of the predictions are a bit optimistic, but a riveting read nonetheless.
Paul Salmon
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book gives a very interesting insight into the state of Linux and Open Source in the late 1990s. From a historical perspective it shows the success of Linux and attributes this to using a far more flexible model than previous open source development. That is, Linus Torvalds style of development “release early and often, delegate everything you can, be open to the point of promiscuity” came as a surprise. This was a break from the “Cathedral Building” building process and more like a “a grea ...more
Matt Simmons
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A twenty year old technology book that has held up surprisingly well. While Microsoft still dominates the desktop, Raymond's primary prediction--that open source models will come to dominate the "back end" and server-side parts of he internet--have come spectacularly true, because of the various reasons he spells out. While I'd be interested in seeing what the thinks of the state of things in the intervening years--with the rise of new tech giants Google, Facebook, Amazon, and a reborn Apple, so ...more
Catalin Gheorghe
A book that offers a glimpse into the history of hacker culture, unix and open-source world, with the main focus being the open-source development model. An easy and pleasurable read, containing impressive analogies with models from the economical and social domains.

Where necessary, the author provides references to studies and other works that go way beyond the technical domain of software development. To me, it was clear that the opinions exposed were properly researched and had a solid basis,
Akhil Pundir
Dec 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone interested in knowing more about Linux, Open source, Internet, Hacker Culture.
This is a great book to read for anyone who wants to know more about the origins of Open Source.
Not only did this book break my prejudice that there is no money in Open Source model but after reading this book i got to know of several business models which are thriving on Open source.
Linux was one of the main reasons i bought this book but it gave me an insight into the Hacker culture and the history of Hacker culture, where it really started and how it has evolved through the time.
There are s
Chris Pacia
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is really a must read for people either working in or interested in the tech industry. It makes a very compelling case that open source software has number of advantages over closed source software that will ultimately make it more competitive and profitable. The book and the case it makes for open source was pivotal to the creation of Mozilla which helped stop Microsoft from monopolizing the HTTP and HTML standards. It draws interesting parallels between open source software and Locke ...more
Jan 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pretty interesting contemporary account of the history of the modern open-source movement. There's a lot about the current state of software – both as a developer and as a user – that's been dramatically affected by the people, events, and concepts Raymond recounts. There were some interesting sociological/anthropological observations, such as the parallels that the work open-source developers provide for free has with "gift culture" societies. In some parts, especially the drier & ...more
Nov 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: acquired
There are three main parts to this book:

The Cathedral and the Bazaar
The Magic Cauldron
Homesteading the Noosphere

In the Cathedral and the Bazaar, the author comments on how free/open source software seems to run counter to Brooks' Law, which basically explains why add adding more developers to a project tends to make it later. Basically, where N is the number of developers, productivity scales with N (at best) but communications overhead within the team scales with N squared. Since developers spe
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a great read, and I highly suggest anyone even remotely interested in software development to read this. It however falls just short of excellent for a few reasons. Firstly the book is slightly outdated, being published in 2001 (at least my revision), so it has no information on the 21st century. The second flaw is that it is in my opinion too positive, praising open source software wherever possible. This second part may just be me, but the first flaw is highly noticeable in the latter hal ...more
Margaret Heller
I needed to do a somewhat close reading of this book for my own book research, and it was instructive to read it all the way through. There is a lot of historical interest here, and a lot that still holds true. However, the fact that "he" is the only pronoun throughout the book sticks out a lot. Not to mention a lot else. Want to more about what I think? You'll just have to read my own book when it comes out.
Tim O'Hearn
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 52-books-in-2016
An unexpectedly well written collection of essays. The hacker motif isn't as revolutionary as it was fifteen years ago. Somehow, the movement became mainstream, and this book provides insight into why. Understanding the culture is more important now than ever. While this essential reading is easy for a novice to digest, those lacking technical knowledge are advised to make liberal use of a search engine.
Aug 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting read, and one that I believe should be read by any computer scientist. The first few chapters are very exciting and a great history lesson. The book lulls towards the end however, especially when talking about the economics of the open source model, but this is still important. It's especially interesting to compare the companies mentioned at the time of writing to how they are performing today.
Maurício Linhares
Pretty good perspective on how Linux came to be and how the open source process we take for granted nowadays was born. Reading it now after almost 30 years since Linux itself started makes it even more enjoyable as some of the predictions (like Firefox) have actually happened and many more businesses came out of it, it's pretty impossible to imagine working in any kind of programming job without touching dozens of open source software built the same way Linux was built back then.
Sebastiao Barata
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Este livro é sobre o movimento open source. Foi uma das influências que levou a mozilla foundation a tornar o código do seu browser (primeiro navigator e mais tarde Firefox). É de leitura fácil que levanta questões importante e mostra a importância e características do movimento open source. Já conhecia excertos mas nunca tinha lido na totalidade.
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Goodreads Librari...: Please Combine 2 17 May 09, 2018 03:56PM  
Like this book? Join O'Reilly Media's fan group 1 15 Oct 20, 2009 10:56AM  
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  • Rebel Code: Linux and the Open Source Revolution
  • Open Sources
  • Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary
  • Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software
  • The Elements of Programming Style
  • Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age
  • Producing Open Source Software: How to Run a Successful Free Software Project
  • The Success of Open Source
  • The Hacker Ethic: A Radical Approach to the Philosophy of Business
  • Free Software, Free Society: Selected Essays
  • Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet
  • The Design of Design: Essays from a Computer Scientist
  • Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web
  • UNIX Power Tools
  • The Implementation (TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 2)
  • The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier
  • Concepts, Techniques, and Models of Computer Programming

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Eric S. Raymond is an observer-participant anthropologist in the Internet hacker culture. His research has helped explain the decentralized open-source model of software development that has proven so effective in the evolution of the Internet. Mr. Raymond is also a science fiction fan, a musician, an activist for the First and Second Amendments, and a martial artist with a Black Belt in Tae Kwon ...more
“Every good work of software starts by scratching a developer’s personal itch.” 6 likes
“Anyway, in a world of cheap PCs and fast Internet links, we find pretty consistently that the only really limiting resource is skilled attention.” 1 likes
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