Thursday, September 13, 2007

RevOS, Cath&Bazaar & Microsoft's MVP

Revolution OS
The first I watched this movie in the Moz week crash course, I understood a little bit but I didn't realize the immensity that Open Source meant to a lot of people. I grew up getting cracks to a lot of software since it was a good way of trying it and realizing if it was worthy to spend money on it, and sometimes it wasn't because the feature I was looking for wasn't yet in it or it wouldn't work properly. I didn't realize until now that what I used to do is wait for that feature to be added in an update, but I never thought that if the actual program's source code was available somebody could have fixed it without waiting for the company to do it, if they did.

The Cathedral and the Bazaar
Eric Raymond's description of what he found out after getting perplexed how did Linux became what it was with so many contributors without an apparent control?

NOTE: I have been delaying this post since I didn't find time to seat and read the whole thing, but I will give a shot from what I have read in the first five sections

Raymond seems to narrate his experience in the bazaar style of building software; he took over a mailing application that wasn't finished and he started realizing few principles that he mentions in this paper, and it also compares them with the principles that he had been following all his life that he called the cathedral style.

He also mentions in the last section about Netscape embracing the bazaar style too!

I want to mention what some of you mentioned about "release early, release often"; it is an excellent idea since you get feedback but I want to point out that if you release early, please, you better release something decent!!

Open Source is a great thing, more than I thought and I did not understand it until I got in touched through Mozilla@Seneca and the Club Moz. It allows people who are curious about how to change things to meet their needs or other people's need, but we can also say that proprietary work has to exist because not everything that the OS community produces is as easy to use as it should or it has too much of "programers" ways of doing things.

One example, I want to bring up is what it happened to the Microsoft's MVP of last month (I'm sorry it is in Spanish), Chema Alonso. In his blog explains that he was trying to install a new release of Red Hat 4.2 and suddenly the graphic card wasn't recognized and had to change the configuration but everything went wrong. He used to be a preacher of Linux and all the OS stuff, but he found a CD of Windows 95 and he installed it, everything went so smooth that even though he would uninstall it as soon as he had time again, he didn't. After many years, he has become an MVP of Microsoft and he always speaks as himself to have turned into the "dark side" of the force, but this is an example on how proprietary work can even be easier for programmers and let's not just talk about regular users!!

What I wanted to get across is that Open Source is not the panacea to user's frustration that they can't change the programs they use, but it is extremely needed in Software Development world to make it a better place.

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