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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Free software book?

From: Rob Myers
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Free software book?
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 23:42:44 +0000
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20071022)

Mark Preston wrote:

I wonder if you would care to expand on what Raymond is ignorant of
regarding building cathedrals and operating bazaars, and why the
"Cathedral and Bazaar" allegory wrt free software is by implication
flawed. Having only bought things in Bazaars, and only visited a few
Cathedrals my ignorance in this area is quite broad.

Raymond presents cathedrals as monolithic and bazaars as freewheeling.

Mediaeval Cathedrals were often multi-generational projects with each generation building on the work of the last. They are a framework within which people could do something amazing, architecturally speaking. A strong sense of purpose and a supportive framework can work wonders for individual talent.

Bazaars occupy a specific social space and are regulated by set rules. Everyone knows how to haggle.

The C&B allegory is flawed because Raymond has started from a mild dislike of GNU cut with too much Ayn Rand and created a metaphor that, although easy to understand, discards too much information. And the market needs information to work efficiently. ;-)

- Rob.

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