CS130 -- Software Development
Fall, 2004
Reading and Analysis 3

Read the online paper, The Cathedral and the Bazaar, by Eric S. Raymond.  (If at all possible, read the Raymond paper online instead of printing it out; then reflect on issues related to a "paperless society" and reading online vs. hardcopy.  If you want to download the paper in one chuck, go up a level from the given link.)  In Raymond's paper, he compares and contrasts two very different software development models.  He identifies a number of "lessons" from his and others' experiences that may or may not conform to your intuitions.  More importantly, these lessons may or may not be applicable to development projects in general or could even be invalid altogether.

In your analysis, describe how widely applicable Raymond claims these lessons to be and evaluate those claims.  Are these lessons general or are Linux and Fetchmail just flukes?  When describing Raymond's claims, use the paper for support; when evaluating those claims, make sure your argument is based on more than simple agreement or disagreement.  You will want to consider Eric's assumptions, reasoning and conclusions.  Identify any problems you see.  Although I have been known to favor open-source development, do not consider what you think my position on these questions might be.  Your position must be fully established and supported on the basis of claims made in the paper and your reasoning about those.

Refer to the general comments on these assignments for reminders on what is expected.