"The Cathedral and the Bazaar"
by Eric Raymond
Reading history and reviews
Finished on 18th December 2006This one skipped ahead of the Donald Norman book by virtue of me starting it on my last plane journey to New Jersey last month...
About a year ago I read The Art of Unix Programming by Eric Raymond, and felt then like I'd stumbled onto a treasure-trove of knowledge. It was a book that articulated many of my feelings and thoughts about being a programmer, as well as containing a wealth of new ideas (at least, new to me).
So I suppose that I approached "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" thinking that it would be very similar, but in fact I found it to be quite different; it's essentially a collection of essays about various aspects of "hacker culture" and the advantages of the Open Source model of software development. There are a lot of interesting ideas in here and I guess I'm still digesting what I've read, but my feeling is that's more a manifesto than a how-to. What I liked most about it was Raymond's enthusiasm for Open Source, coupled with some engaging arguments as to why taking the Open Source can make good economic sense (as well as being the "morally" "right" thing to do). It feels like it will be instructive to read the book again sometime.
You can check out Eric's homepage at http://www.catb.org/~esr/ which has some interesting stuff on it.