Reflections on “The Cathedral and The Bazaar”

A very dear friend of mine, Vaughan Merlyn, recently suggested that I re-read Eric Raymond‘s book, “The Cathedral and the Bazaar.”  It’s been a while since I’ve picked this up and frankly I’d forgotten much of it.

The very first time I read “The Cathedral and the Bazaar” I was working for a company in the open-source software space.  At that time, many years ago now, I was relocating my desk from the Cathedral into the Bazaar, and the book offered me valuable cultural perspective.  At this writing, nearly 10 years later, the whole open-source versus closed-source dialogue is in quite a different place and it almost feels as awkward to reflect upon open-source development as some sort of alternative to mainstream as it does to think about whether my car is American, Japanese, Korean, German, or Mexican (it’s a bit of all those and it’s just the way it is these days).

My most recent reading of this book though gives me a completely different serving of brain food, for which I’m grateful to Mr. Raymond.  I’d like to share a couple of those points with you here.

Internet Content Filtering: 2010 Students’ Perspective

Internet Content FilteringIn my IS Security class at the university, I was recently moderating a discussion thread where my students posted their opinions on Internet content filtering. The question was a simple one, “Some schools and libraries use Internet content filters to prohibit users from accessing undesirable Web sites. These filters are designed to protect individuals, yet some claim it is a violation of their freedom. What are your opinions about Internet content filters? Do they provide protection for users or are they a hindrance?”

The class is composed of a collection of Generation X and a few Boomers.  The opinions collected were very consistent and surprising, at least, to me.

Web 2.0 Collaboration Support from Chinese Government

One of the contrarian voices in enterprise use of Web 2.0 technologies has often been doubt of the value of the “Wisdom of Crowds.” That is, an apprehension that the input from widespread collaboration may have only marginal value toward the development of the product or initiative, or even worse- will be a waste of time and a distraction.The contrarian voice always has value, as I’ve said before, but recently I’ve come across a very interesting instance of an advocate for the “Wisdom of Crowds” from a very unlikely place- the government of Communist China!

Internet Capacity – Circa 2010

 

By Carrisa Baptiste- Mobile Devices Consultant, Advocate Networks, LLC

It has been years since I’ve used a paper telephone book, I use yellowpages.com. Several of my friends have received their diplomas from online educational institutions. Let’s not forget my eleven year old nephew who has a cellular phone and uses the internet to connect with other players using his Sony Play station.

Wow, how amazing the internet is and the fascinating opportunities it provides to our world!

Over the next few years, blackberries and other personal data devices will be the primary source for wireless connectivity verses the traditional cellular devices. In doing so, the demand for instant and constant connectivity to the internet will increase. It is essential that we start enlarging our infrastructure to allow for additional usage on the network.

Chickens and Eggs

I lead into this discussion using the well known adage that says,’Which came first- The chicken or the egg?’  Granted, it’s a bit trite, but many a glass of wine has been tossed back over discussions about cause, effect, cause. Recent developments in physics are re-confirming what has been told by ancient metaphysics for millennia. …