"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
"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
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