Open Source Programming
Programming has proven to be of worth since the early years and of late. It has made what seemingly appeared difficult and complicated to be like water in the mouth waiting to be swallowed. Moreover, it has provided an easier and most efficient way of commanding machines with very little human interferences. The end result has been improved production at relatively very low costs. The goal of this essay is to provide the meaning to the term ‘True Hackers’ according to Eric Raymond’s definition. Furthermore, it seeks to analyze the definition and similarities between the Bazaar and Cathedral models of operating systems. Hopefully, it will enable us understand the benefits of using both models and also provide us with the ability to evaluate Brooks’ potential response to Eric Raymond regarding the models. Eventually, we will be able to select a model we think best suits our needs and one which will remain relevant even in ten years to come.
Cathedral and Bazaar
According to Erick Raymond, a ‘True Hacker’ is a smart programmer who fulfills the following characteristics; takes great interest in mastering the programming language and learning features of a particular system. Actually, he or she gets much more pleasure from carrying out the programming procedures than mastering the theory aspect of it. Moreover, he must be capable of accepting or appreciating hacking done by someone else and have the ability to understand the language of programming very fast. Raymond further defined a ‘good hack’ as an intelligent resolution of a programming hitch and ‘hacking’ as the way of accomplishing it. Eventually, Raymond coined the term ‘UNIX hacker’ to describe a specialist at a specific programming language.
The cathedral model describes propriety software in which the inside developers retain exclusive rights to perform certain actions. Such actions may include; modification, reverse engineering, adding new components or even marketing. It utilizes enormous erections of locked codes whose debugging can only be carried out in-house when the magnitude of a certain bug attains a threshold sufficient enough to warrant any correction. The bazaar model on the other hand, describes open source software whose development is carried out publicly and usually, using joint efforts. In this model different kinds of people meet, share ideas and use those mutual ideas to come up with the software. It makes it possible for the entire public to present versions and bits for bugs because it allows for openness in code. Linux is a perfect example of such software or a system which utilizes such software.
The cathedral model differs from the bazaar in that the release of each software, usually comes with its own source code only that code improvement and modification in between releases is exclusive to the people who developed the software or its owners. In this model, a single group is in charge and supervises the building of a program’s pieces in accordance with a given plan, by a given number of programmers. These individual programmers can bargain for, exchange or purchase these pieces from other programmers in the market. The bazaar model on the other hand, the project of software development can be initiated by anyone. Furthermore, no one in particular is in charge and the development of the code can be done openly over the internet where the general public can have a view. Additionally, code made for a single project can find use in other projects supposing that the licenses for given software are well matched. Anyone may have a glimpse of the source code and if necessary make adjustments to it unlike the cathedral model where only the developers or the owners are the only people allowed to adjust or change the source code.
The benefits of the cathedral model over the bazaar are; it is widely known for its constancy and ease of installation. People place trust in them not only because of their stability but also because of their ability to upgrade a functioning business entity. Hence, it is favored by big organizations. The bazaar model on the other hand, provides software solutions which are equal to those provided by the cathedral model but at a cheaper cost or even for free. It provides room for customization and further modification as opposed to the cathedral model hence favored by small business enterprises. Especially, it can adapt to changes and possess some degrees of freedom Moreover, it involves a wider community and many people are always on the look out to check for bugs and perfect on the designs. The risk associated with the models include; the modifications and customization done to the bazaar model might be too overwhelming to be understood by an average person or even people with only the fundamentals of programming. The cathedral model on the other hand, does not avail the source code copy to people. Hence, anyone desiring to customize or modify it cannot do so. Additionally, this model is also costly and rigid to changes.
Brook would have supported Raymond’s argument in favor of the bazaar model because according to Brooks, it is only programmers working discretely and differently on a common project without any sort of communication like it is the case in the cathedral model, who can delay a project or even not complete it to perfection. Bazaar model on the contrary, encourages dialogue among programmers. I do think the bazaar model will be predominant in the next ten years because as the years progress, people look forward to safeguarding their own interests. It is also humanly to want to do things your own away and bazaar model favors this. An example of a software product commonly used in major organizations is the Linux operating system. This source; https://www.linux.com/ adequately describes it.
Both the bazaar and the cathedral models have contributed so much towards the area of software engineering. They continue to make work in organizations and industries easy with very little errors. Hence, we should learn to appreciate both models.
Acohido, B. (2002). USA Today: Linux waddles from obscurity to the big time. Jersey
Gonzalez-Barahona, J. (2000). Some dates of the open source software history. New York Publishers.
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