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Lotus.com: Charles Connell Replies to Eric Raymond

Sep 30, 2000, 21:01 (14 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Charles Connell)

[ Thanks to cconnell for this link. ]

"Over the past few years, Eric Raymond has written and revised a famous essay about open-source software titled "The Cathedral and the Bazaar." This essay is popularly known as CatB. On September 12, Lotus Developer Network published my essay titled "Open-Source Projects Manage Themselves? Dream On" in which I challenged some of the basic tenets of CatB. Raymond responded to the article with this reply: "Eric Raymond Replies to Charles Connell" R1. Below is my continuation of our discussion."

"In R1, Raymond writes, "[Connell] confuses my observations about the structure of the open-source community in the large with claims about the organization of individual projects in the small. This confusion leads him up several garden paths and down a number of blind alleys."

"It is true my comments in "Open-Source Projects Manage Themselves? Dream On" are based on only two open-source projects, Fetchmail and Linux. Moreover, it is true I made some conjectures about the general nature of open-source projects from these two cases. But this is true of CatB as well. Raymond makes many statements about the nature of open-source development, based only on the same two projects. More significantly, the whole world read CatB and drew broad conclusions from it about open-source programming and how to run these projects. Netscape and other companies changed their business models to match the ideas in CatB."

"The moral here is we should expand the sample size of projects we study before making firm conclusions about the base principles of open-source software. (By "we," I mean everyone in the open-source community and those interested in its outcome.)"

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