The Cathedral and the Bazar
Before Linux, most experts thought that software, beyond a significant size, could only be built as cathedrals, that is designed by a few experts, et with a strict hierarchy (pyramidal structure). The development of Linux is open to everybody, and looks like a bazar (networked structure).
The success of Linux surprised Eric S. Raymond. The Cathedral and the Bazar analyses what he has learnt from Linux in the practice of the management of the Free software project fetchmail. Some of his conclusions are technical. Here are a few others:
- 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.
Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.Linus Torvalds.
- If you treat your beta-testers as if they're your most valuable resource, they will respond by becoming your most valuable resource.
- The next best thing to having good ideas is recognizing good ideas from your users. Sometimes the latter is better.
- Release early. Release often. And listen to your customers.
- The Cathedral and the Bazar, Eric S. Raymond - http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/
- The book, at O'Reilly's - http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/cathbazpaper