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The Cathedral and the Bazaar

by Eric S. Raymond

$Date: 1998/02/04 15:28:32 $

Parody: The Circus Midget and the Fossilized Dinosaur Turd

I anatomize a successful free-software project, fetchmail, that was run as a deliberate test of some surprising theories about software engineering suggested by the history of Linux. I discuss these theories in terms of two fundamentally different development styles, the ``cathedral'' model of most of the commercial world versus the ``bazaar'' model of the Linux world. I show that these models derive from opposing assumptions about the nature of the software-debugging task. I then make a sustained argument from the Linux experience for the proposition that ``Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow'', suggest productive analogies with other self-correcting systems of selfish agents, and conclude with some exploration of the implications of this insight for the future of software.

1. The Cathedral and the Bazaar

2. The Mail Must Get Through

3. The Importance of Having Users

4. Release Early, Release Often

5. When Is A Rose Not A Rose?

6. Popclient becomes Fetchmail

7. Fetchmail Grows Up

8. A Few More Lessons From Fetchmail

9. Necessary Preconditions for the Bazaar Style

10. The Social Context of Free Software

11. Acknowledgements

12. For Further Reading

13. Version and Change History:

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