The Cathedral & the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental . Eric Raymond is an Open Source evangelist and author of the highly explanation of the open-source paradigm of programming en masse, and the. Early audiences of this essay complimented me by suggesting that I am prone to undervalue design . Cover of “La catedral y el bazar – Eric Raymond”. A picture of Eric S Raymond I’m Eric S. Raymond, aka “ESR”. I wrote some of the I’d replace the userspace drive on my PC with an SSD.

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It’s a strange feeling to realize you’re helping make history I had had no clue this was going to happen before the day of the announcement.

Frases de Eric S. Raymond

Eric Hahn, cqtedral vice president and chief technology officer at Netscape, emailed me shortly afterwards as follows: Your thinking and writings were fundamental inspirations to our decision. The following week I flew out to Silicon Valley at Netscape’s invitation for a day-long strategy conference on 4 Feb with some of their top executives and technical people. We designed Netscape’s source-release strategy bazag license together.

Netscape is about to provide us with a large-scale, real-world test of the bazaar model in the commercial world.

The Cathedral and the Bazaar

The open-source culture now faces a danger; if Netscape’s execution doesn’t work, the open-source concept may be so discredited that the commercial world won’t touch it again daymond another decade. On the other hand, this is also a spectacular opportunity. Initial reaction to the move on Wall Street and elsewhere has been cautiously positive.


We’re being given a chance to prove ourselves, too. If Netscape regains substantial market share through this move, it just may set off a long-overdue revolution in the software industry. The next year should be a very instructive and interesting time.

The Cathedral and the Bazaar – Wikipedia

And indeed it was. As I write in mid, the development of what was later named Mozilla has been only a qualified success. It achieved Netscape’s original goal, which was to deny Microsoft a monopoly lock on the browser market.

It has also achieved some dramatic successes notably the release of the next-generation Gecko rendering engine. However, it has not yet garnered the rsymond development effort from outside Netscape that the Mozilla founders had originally hoped for.

The problem here seems to be that for a long time the Mozilla distribution actually broke one of rxymond basic rules of the bazaar model; it didn’t ship with something potential contributors could easily run and see working.

Until more than a year after release, building Mozilla from source required a license for the proprietary Motif library. Most negatively from the point of view of the outside world the Mozilla group didn’t ship a production-quality browser for two and a half years after the project launch—and in one of the project’s principals caused a bit of a sensation by resigning, complaining of poor management and missed opportunities.


And indeed it is not. The long-term prognosis for Mozilla looks dramatically better now in November than it bwzar at the time of Jamie Zawinski’s resignation letter—in the eel few weeks the nightly releases have finally passed the critical threshold to production usability.

But Jamie was right to point out that going open will not necessarily save an existing project that suffers from ill-defined goals or spaghetti code or any of the software engineering’s other chronic ills. Mozilla has managed to provide an example simultaneously of how open source can succeed and how it could fail.


In the mean time, however, the open-source idea has scored successes and found backers elsewhere. Since the Netscape release we’ve seen a tremendous explosion of interest in the open-source development model, a trend both driven by and driving the continuing success of the Linux operating system.

The trend Mozilla touched off is continuing at an accelerating rate. Netscape Embraces the Bazaar.