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A Trip Through The Cathedral & The Bazaar

Apr 14, 2010, 12:03 (0 Talkback[s])

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"I spent a solid day recently plowing through a remarkable book by one of the early luminaries of the Linux age, Eric S. Raymond. On its face, the idea of reading computer history seems like one of the worse uses of several hours that most non-geeks can imagine, especially one that's not even recent. By and large it's hard to disagree with that idea. But this book was different. I'm a picky reader, but found that once I got going with Raymond's tome it was hard to put down. The author is very capable, his observations just as piercing now as they were originally, and the book goes very fast. More remarkably, Raymond manages to be equally good at summarizing both complex technical ideas and complicated concepts from the social sciences, and adds just enough of an "I was there" aspect to give the book credibility without turning into an autobiography. If you're interested in or care about Linux or open source, both their history and where the OSS movement is going, you should read this book.

"First published in late 1999 and revised in 2001, The Cathedral & The Bazaar is one of the most important paper volumes about Linux and the Open Source revolution. C&B is structured as a series of essays recording the observations of a self-described "tribal historian and resident ethnographer" within the OSS/hacker worlds. Each essay addresses a key aspect of the OSS movement: its origins in the original hacker movement (A Brief History of Hackerdom), the open source development model (The Cathedral & The Bazaar), the hacker world's ethics and ethos (Homesteading the Noosphere), the OSS world's economic base (The Magic Cauldron)..."

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