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Why Open Source Works (12 May 2004)
WEBER: I'll say this carefully because it's important to put the right tone on it. When Eric Raymond wrote that very well known paper, "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" he did something extremely important and he also did something misleading. The extremely important thing he did was to create a self-conscience statement to the open source developer community. "Here's what we are. Here's what we're doing collectively." That was important because it made explicit among this group a sense that they were doing something unusual.

UBIQUITY: What was misleading about Raymond's paper?

WEBER: What I think he did that was misleading was to use the image of a bazaar. If you read the paper carefully, he describes a magic bubbling cauldron that somehow comes together into a complex operating system called Linux. He didn't have a good powerful explanation for how the community holds itself together. People saw in that what they wanted to see. That's why it became a kind of Rorschach test.
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