The Cathedral and the Bazaar

Interesting podcast over at IT Conversations today featuring by Tim O’Reilly on the subject of what constitutes Open Source and the nature of freedom in Open Source. You can download or listen to the podcast here.

I enjoyed listening to Tim talk about how the nature of Open Source is changing or even needs to change with reference to Web 2.0, how  Open Source isn’t just about source code or slapping an OSI license onto code anymore. It’s a fairly short talk but well worth listening to.

For a deeper insight into the differences between the Open Source model and Commercially Written software  I think everyone should read Eric Raymond’s truly excellent – The Cathedral and the Bazaar. Whilst Tim’s talk borrowed the title from Raymond’s seminal work, Tim only really briefly touches on the history of the Open Source Movement and the benefits of Open Source whilst Eric’s book and the collection of essays he presents within it provides a wealth of historical and anecdotal information that paints a wonderful picture of where and how Open Source started and why it’s been such a success.

I personally think anyone who considers themselves to be a software developer should read this book, not necessarily to advocate Open Source but to better understand one of the most important movements in the history of our industry.

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