The Cathedral and the Bazaar (Eric Steven Raymond) (posted by Fabien Villard)

In 1999 when I joined an Open Source community to port a software on VMS systems, this essay was a must reading for all Open Source fans. It represented some kind of a first description of methods used in Open Source groups. At this time Open Source was seen as parallel system for software editing with no relation to business one (that have been since proved to be false).

There are a lot of “principles” in this essay, like:

  • Every good work of software starts by scratching a developer’s personal itch.
  • If you have the right attitude, interesting problems will find you.
  • Treating your users as co-developers is your least-hassle route to rapid code improvement and effective debugging.
  • Given a large enough beta-tester and co-developer base, almost every problem will be characterized quickly and the fix obvious to someone.
  • A security system is only as secure as its secret. Beware of pseudo-secrets.

Some of them may be extended from the software development domain to the methodological one.

When I re-read it some days ago I was pleased to find this one that I forgot: “Smart data structures and dumb code works a lot better than the other way around“. This echoes my personal thoughts about what are more invariant in the real world we try to automate: things or actions?

Finally I recommend the page called “How Many Eyeballs Tame Complexity“. This could be a thinking direction for Praxeme further work.

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