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Canada Computes: OSS pundit a voice of reason [Review of The Cathedral and the Bazaar]

Jul 26, 2000, 16:29 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Caryn Mladen)

"I had read the seven main works contained in this book before picking it up. The author, Eric Raymond, posted the first, A Brief History of Hackerdom, back in 1992. How to Become a Hacker - found in the appendix - has been repurposed in a number of sites. Raymond's writings became legendary and my more interesting geek friends sent them to me. Soon we found ourselves frequently checking Raymond's site for new stuff."

"The book is about freedom. Raymond speaks of the benefits of freedom in promoting the concept of open-source development. He is not against profit - far from it. Rather, he shows how ideas flourish, technology leaps ahead and people benefit from the advancements and creators profit when innovations are shared rather than held in a proprietary form."

"Raymond is also admittedly biased. He is vocally pro-hacker. However, this should not diminish the strength of his ideas, which are well thought out, balanced and reasonable. Besides, he uses the term "hacker" in its pure and true sense. I've found that hackers are a lot like witches. Neither was evil until the powers that be decided they were too influential so these powerful people manufactured a bad reputation for them and eventually others took over the name (witch or hacker) and made the evil come true. Real witches love nature and work with herbs and help people. Real hackers love code and work with systems and help people. As Raymond says, "hackers build things, crackers break them."

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