The readings for this week are:

  1. A Brief History of Hackerdom

  2. The Cathedral and the Bazaar


In these essays, ESR discusses the Cathedral and the Bazaar:

No quiet, reverent cathedral-building here—rather, the Linux community seemed to resemble a great babbling bazaar of differing agendas and approaches ... out of which a coherent and stable system could seemingly emerge only by a succession of miracles.

For this upcoming week, you are to consider the following questions as you perform the readings and participate in class:

  1. What are the difference between the cathedral model of software development and the bazaar style of software enigeering. Which models have you experienced? Which one do you prefer?

  2. In his The Cathedral and the Bazaar, ESR enumerates 19 principles such as:

    1: Every good work of software starts by scratching a developer's personal itch.


    6: Treating your users as co-developers is your least-hassle route to rapid code improvement and effective debugging.

    From your experience with software development, which of these principles ring true?

  3. ESR ends The Cathedral and the Bazaar by saying:

    Perhaps in the end the open-source culture will triumph not because cooperation is morally right or software ``hoarding'' is morally wrong (assuming you believe the latter, which neither Linus nor I do), 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.

    What do you make of this? Has open source or the bazaar model won? Is it the future of software development?

Note, you should not simply list the questions and answer each one directly. Instead, the questions are there to help you brainstorm about the question:

From your experience, which model of software development is superior: the cathedral or the bazaar? Which is the future of software development? Are the two models mutually exclusive?