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Showing 1-10 of 37 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 82 reviews
on November 19, 2010
Many of you don't care much about how your computer works as long as it works. Others (like me), who are still in awe about what these machines can do, enjoy reading about their history. This book describes a revolutionary idea now in place: take the collective thinking output of brilliant computer people and deliver their work product direct to the consumer, avoiding the corporate (Read: profit-motivated) influence entirely. Keyword: Linux.

Dull? Boring? No! This book is fascinating. It contrasts the structured corporate form of computer software development (the Cathedral) and the altruistic generous world of open source software development (the Bazaar). In the Bazaar, thousands of men and women invest their time to compose and/or debug software works in progress; they create it, they perfect it ... and then they make it **freely** available to you and me. It wouldn't seem like an arrangement like that could survive, let alone flourish, but it does. It's quite an eye-opener!

Decide if you'd like to learn about these brilliant minds of the 20th and 21st centuries. If you like this book then read, "Soul of a New Machine." Also, if you can, watch the documentary movie, "Revolution OS."


Postscript, April 23, 2012:

If you enjoy reading about people with extraordinary intelligence regarding computers and computer programs, read on.

Are you "on Facebook?"

You might be interested to learn about the history of this website and of the people who invented it and founded it. The movie, "The Social Network" tells the story. The movie is very intense and you may have to take rest periods or intermissions when you see it. It's great!

I also highly recommend the book, "The Accidental Billionaires" by Ben Mezrich. This is a more detailed account. Again, I think it's great!
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on April 14, 2017
Want to understand true human intellectual economics, within the context of geekdom? Are you a coder, hacker, open-source enthusiast, user and or producer, or curious of why and how our present high-tech economy and industry works, or doesn't work? You must read this book!
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on April 6, 2008
The Cathedral and the Bazaar is a collection of essays originally meant for programmers and technical managers, written by Eric S. Raymond on software engineering methods, based on his observations of the Linux kernel development process and his experiences managing an open source project, fetchmail.

I you like a deeper work on Linux development, I can recommend the book "Rebel Code" by Glyn Moody.

fetchmail, is an open-source software utility to retrieve e-mail from a remote mail server. It was developed by Eric S. Raymond from the popclient program, written by Carl Harris. Its chief significance is perhaps that its author, Eric S. Raymond, used it as a model to discuss his theories of open source software development in this book. Some programmers, including Dan Bernstein, getmail creator Charles Cazabon and FreeBSD developer Terry Lambert, have criticized fetchmail's design], its number of security holes, and that it was prematurely put into "maintenance mode". In 2004, a new team of maintainers took over fetchmail development, and laid out development plans that in some cases broke with design decisions that Eric Raymond had made in earlier versions.

The essays in the book describe open-source software, the process of systematically harnessing open develplment and decentralized peer review to lower costs and improve software quality. contrasts two different free software development models:

- The Cathedral model, in which source code is available with each software release, but code developed between releases is restricted to an exclusive group of software developers. GNU Emacs and GCC are presented as examples.

- The Bazaar model, in which the code is developed over the Internet in view of the public. Raymond credits Linus Torvalds, leader of the Linux kernel project, as the inventor of this process. Raymond also provides anecdotal accounts of his own implementation of this model for the fetchmail project.

The essay's central thesis is Raymond's proposition that "given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow" (which he terms Linus' law): the more widely available the source code is for public testing, scrutiny, and experimentation, the more rapidly all forms of bugs will be discovered. In contrast, Raymond claims that an inordinate amount of time and energy must be spent hunting for bugs in the Cathedral model, since the working version of the code is available only to a few developers.

When O'Reilly Media published the book in 1999, it achieved another distinction by being the first complete and commercially distributed book published under the Open Publication License.
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on March 21, 2013
10 years ago or so, I was at a well-paid corporate job doing Microsoft development, but something... was dissatisfying. I was lusting after something I couldn't put my finger on, that I could not seem to find anywhere.

This book dropped in my lap one day, and I decided to read it.

By the end of the book I had quit my job and joined a startup which was based on open-source technologies. I was paid a pittance relative to my previous job, but I didn't care. The work was far more interesting. And I am a man who gets bored very, very easily.

Best decision I ever made. My success is going to dwarf that of my former coworkers who valued security over "winging it."

True story. Amazing book. Spoke to my gut. Nice work, Eric S. Raymond.
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on March 20, 2014
Everyone -- from the lowliest developer or tester, to the top CEOs of major software developers (in the cathedral), to CIOs of every firm, to even CEOs of companies that rely heavily on software -- NEEDS to read this book.

Yes, it's dated. Yes, all the references are 20 years old. That doesn't make any of the main points of the book any less valid. The software world has changed. This book is the original book that explains why. And it's still the gold standard on the Open Source movement.
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on January 28, 2005
This books starts off with a very good history of the development of the Linux operating software. This open source development process started the author thinking about the two software development methods, the Cathedral method, where a large corporate structure hires programmers to develop software, keeps the source code secret, and charges large amounts to recoup it costs, not from the original product development, but from the expected legacy problems, technical support, bug fixing, software updates, etc. On the other hand the bazaar method, encourages open source software. Open source software encourages a programmer or group within the hacker community to gain ascendancy, to possess and maintain and steer the software to keep it relevant. The Author's point is that with most business models in the future the Cathedral method (read Microsoft) will not be able to compete with the Bazaar method (read Linux). In the Cathedral method the programmers must be hired, the bazaar method the hackers are attracted to a problem, become more dedicated, revisions and bugs are handled at internet speed. The author tells of many real-life business experiences companies have had adopting the open source method. The middle of the book explains the hacker ethic and how the hacker community operates. The reader learns the true meaning of "hacker" v.s. "cracker" and the true meaning of free software. The author predicts that open source software will make deep in-roads into the Fortune-500 companies. That their investments in hardware and records may be dependent on one software company's decision to continue supporting that software revision is the problem. Open source software would provide a proliferation of hacker communities willing to constantly update older software. The author appears to know his stuff and progressively throughout the book the author lets it leak out that he is one of the hacker community and is a player/spokesman in this software battle I found this book a real eye-opener, can Microsoft's workforce continue to support software like Windows 2000 with 60 million lines of code, as opposed to Linux taking advantage of a worldwide army of hackers reporting bugs, writing patches, and keeping hardware drivers updated. Time will tell.

This book was enough to prompt this reader to obtain a copy of Linux just in case..
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on March 1, 2010
Eric S. Raymond offers readers a set of essays and thoughts on technology in "The Cathedral & the Bazaar." Bound to be a classic of technology writing and thinking, this compendium effectively bridges the gap between a technical subject matter and mainstream business thinking.

Raymond covers topics ranging from the inner workings of an open source application development effort to the economics of open versus closed source software. Some of the writing (and thinking) here is quite advanced and complex -- Raymond pulls no punches nor oversimplifies a complex set of topics.

By way of example, Raymond notes, "...the [open-source] culture's adaptation to its circumstances manifests both as conscious ideology and as implicit, unconscious or semi-conscious knowledge." I highlight this point so that the reader has some sense of what to expect with this publication -- the book is thought-provoking and requires significant thinking and attention -- a sign of a good book, in my opinion.

For a thorough, intelligent, and broadly interesting treatise on open-source software and general technology principles, this is an excellent book. I highly recommend this book.
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on May 17, 2016
Even in 2016 this is still a terrific read for those interested in hacking, GNU/Linux, and the open source world at large. Raymond does a fantastic job analysing the methods and motives of the community with lots of real world examples to back up his observations. If you're trying to delve deeper into the world of open source software then this book is must read.
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on February 17, 2013
Ahah seriously, I enjoyed reading it. It was really nice to read about how the tech world today is like it is, and where it comes from, and read about the creation of linux, and mozilla, etc.
It also explains perfectly the difference between opensource and proprietary software. First why open source simply exists, what's it forces and advantages, and then explains how it can make money and be that attractive. And how some open source project can become better than softwares made by multi-billion companies.
A good read to get to know better the industry :)
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on November 22, 2015
This book gives clues to how tenuous and also explosive the real economy is.

It is, as it advertises, an inner guide to some aspects of the life of a 'hacker'.

And, in that respect, it is not disappointing.

Highly recommended for 'computer programmers that need a clue'.

Like, more intelligence, or a better job.
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