Free software development models

Seth Golub (
Mon, 23 Jun 1997 16:57:08 -0700

This is an interesting analysis of the "bazaar" style of software
development used by the Linux community.

It's written by the author of Fetchmail, a popular unix POP/IMAP

The abstract:

> I anatomize a successful free-software project, fetchmail, that was
> run as a deliberate test of some surprising theories about software
> engineering suggested by the history of Linux. I discuss these
> theories in terms of two fundamentally different development styles,
> the "cathedral" model of FSF and its imitators versus the "bazaar"
> model of the Linux world. I show that these models derive from
> opposing assumptions about the nature of the software-debugging
> task. I then make a sustained argument from the Linux experience
> for the proposition that "Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are
> shallow", suggest productive analogies with other self-correcting
> systems of selfish agents, and conclude with some exploration of the
> implications of this insight for the future of software.