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Novels



Book Title : The Cathedral and the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary
eBook download format(s) : HTM htm 
ISBN-10 : 0596001088 
ISBN-13 : 978-0-596001-08-7 
Author(s) : Eric S. Raymond
Publisher : O'Reilly (Oct 1999)
Section : Novels
Book Review:

Amazon.com
It may be foolish to consider Eric Raymond's recent collection of essays, The Cathedral and the Bazaar, the most important computer programming thinking to follow the Internet revolution. But it would be more unfortunate to overlook the implications and long-term benefits of his fastidious description of open-source software development considering the growing dependence businesses and economies have on emerging computer technologies.

The Cathedral and the Bazaar takes its title from an essay Raymond read at the 1997 Linux Kongress. The essay documents Raymond's acquisition, re-creation, and numerous revisions of an e-mail utility known as fetchmail. Raymond engagingly narrates the fetchmail development process while elaborating on the ongoing bazaar development method he uses with the help of volunteer programmers. The essay smartly spares the reader from the technical morass that could easily detract from the text's goal of demonstrating the efficacy of the open-source, or bazaar, method in creating robust, usable software.

Once Raymond has established the components and players necessary for an optimally running open-source model, he sets out to counter the conventional wisdom of private, closed-source software development. Like superbly written code, the author's arguments systematically anticipate their rebuttals. For programmers who "worry that the transition to open source will abolish or devalue their jobs," Raymond adeptly and factually counters that "most developer's salaries don't depend on software sale value." Raymond's uncanny ability to convince is as unrestrained as his capacity for extrapolating upon the promise of open-source development.

In addition to outlining the open-source methodology and its benefits, Raymond also sets out to salvage the hacker moniker from the nefarious connotations typically associated with it in his essay, "A Brief History of Hackerdom" (not surprisingly, he is also the compiler of The New Hacker's Dictionary). Recasting hackerdom in a more positive light may be a heroic undertaking in itself, but considering the Herculean efforts and perfectionist motivations of Raymond and his fellow open-source developers, that light will shine brightly. --Ryan Kuykendall

Book Description
"This is how we did it." --Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux kernel

It all started with a series of odd statistics. The leading challenger to Microsoft's stranglehold on the computer industry is an operating system called Linux, the product of thousands of volunteer programmers who collaborate over the Internet. The software behind a majority of all the world's web sites doesn't come from a big company either, but from a loosely coordinated group of volunteer programmers called the Apache Group. The Internet itself, and much of its core software, was developed through a process of networked collaboration.

The key to these stunning successes is a movement that has come to be called open source, because it depends on the ability of programmers to freely share their program source code so that others can improve it. In 1997, Eric S. Raymond outlined the core principles of this movement in a manifesto called "The Cathedral and the Bazaar," which was published and freely redistributed over the Internet.

Mr. Raymond's thinking electrified the computer industry. He argues that the development of the Linux operating system by a loose confederation of thousands of programmers--without central project management or control--turns on its head everything we thought we knew about software project management. Internet-enabled collaboration and free information sharing, not monopolistic control, is the key to innovation and product quality.

This idea was interesting to more than programmers and software project leaders. It suggested a whole new way of doing business, and the possibility of unprecedented shifts in the power structures of the computer industry.

The rush to capitalize on the idea of open source started with Netscape's decision to release its flagship Netscape Navigator product under open source licensing terms in early 1998. Before long, Fortune 500 companies like Intel, IBM, and Oracle were joining the party. By August 1999, when the leading Linux distributor, Red Hat Software, made its hugely successful public stock offering, it had become clear that open source was "the next big thing" in the computer industry.

This revolutionary book starts out with "A Brief History of Hackerdom"--the historical roots of the open-source movement--and details the events that led to the recognition of the power of open source. It contains the full text of "The Cathedral & the Bazaar," updated and expanded for this book, plus Mr. Raymond's other key essays on the social and economic dynamics of open source software development.

Open source is the competitive advantage in the Internet Age. The Cathedral & the Bazaar is a must for anyone who cares about the computer industry or the dynamics of the information economy. Already, billions of dollars have been made and lost based on the ideas in this book. Its conclusions will be studied, debated, and implemented for years to come.




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