Friday, January 15, 2010

Open Source Readings


My name is Jeffrey Lee and i am taking OSD600 this winter 2010 semester

After doing the readings my view on open source and the business method of developing software have been changed. They are very conflicting styles of developing software, the Cathedral vs Bazaar method as Eric Raymond put it. As i see it the bazaar method attracts more people who have a much greater interest in the project and thus is willing to work more passionately towards the benefit of the project and more people have a voice and can be heard. As oppose to the cathedral where there is one person leading the design which can lead to a much more narrow outlook on the project. Less eyes on the project thus less room for additions outside of the original scope of the project.

Another benefit of the bazaar method is the beta testers and the many eyes on the project itself. As Eric Raymond says your greatest resource is the beta testers because they have a greater interest in the project as oppose to the cathedral method where the testers are being paid to test and may not as interested in looking for exploits. Another benefit of the open source is everyone can look at the source code and point out the bugs and glitches so that the developers of the project can fix them before the release of version 1.0. Windows for example will release a 1.0 version of a operating system and let the user base report the errors thus the window that comes up and lets you report errors when a program crashes.

Another thing I've learned from the open source movement is that despite the fact that open source is usually a general interest hobby it can still profit like the cathedral method of developing. I was very surprised how much money is poured into open source projects like Firefox from large corporations. It perked my interest when i discovered how much other companies drive open source just so other competing companies like Microsoft from taking a monopoly on the internet.

I do believe that there is space for both methods of developing software, in a way it drives a healthy competition between the two sides.

So those are my thoughts on open source, I hoped you enjoyed

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