Robert S. Thau (rst@ai.mit.edu)
Fri, 21 Aug 1998 12:23:52 -0400 (EDT)

Rohit Khare writes:
> If abiSource hasn't specified a roadmap for its internal
> implementation architecture (so far it's just the features), that's
> *OK* for an Open Source company. They don't own it; they share
> it. But once it ramps up, I'm hoping the abiSource PMs ride herd on
> it and hold to that architecture.
> Because, after all, the bazaar in every town square operates in the
> *shadow* of the cathedral. (*)
> Openly,
> Rohit Khare
> (*) translation: *someone's* gotta design the thing...

... which is one of the big problems with the terminology Raymond
chose in describing his "bazaar model" in the first place. If you
read the thing carefully, his description of the "bazaar model" in
day-to-day operation includes a very strong central coordinator (Linus
for linux, himself for fetchmail) making exactly these sorts of
judgments. (Note in particular the section of Cathedral and the
Bazaar where he describes his decision to remove certain features
from popclient, as it became fetchmail --- mail delivery modes other
than delivery via a local SMTP MTA --- in order to simplify the
architecture of the program. He discusses the need to stage the
transition in order to minimize disruption for the users, but never
quibbles about whether this was his sole decision to make).

I'm not sure how easy it would be to find such a powerful, directing
central authority at your average souk. Mediators of various sorts,
perhaps, but that's a rather different thing. NB that I'm not
accusing Raymond of being hypocritical here, just confusing.

In fact, one reading of Raymond's "Homesteading the Noosphere" essay
is as an advocacy piece for those sorts of authorities, and a call to
others to respect them. (I'm not sure that I *completely* buy into
his particular arguments for respecting the primacy of those
coordinators --- though I do have my own --- but I do think that's
what he's arguing for).