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© December 2000 Tony Lawrence

The Cathedral & the Bazaar- Eric S. Raymond

I'm just a little bit ashamed to admit that I very deliberately ignored this book for a year. The reason for my disinterest was simply that the popular computer press raved about it, nearly fell all over themselves gushing enthusiasm, and couldn't seem to find an unkind word to say about it. Such unbridled praise from people who are obviously technically inept (how else would they get a job writing about computers?) made me think that there couldn't possibly be anything here that I'd enjoy.

Now that I actually have read it, I find that I was very wrong to have made that judgement, but I also seriously wonder why all the fluff boys were so complimentary. Not that this doesn't deserve compliments; it does. But I'm quite certain that 90% of the air-heads who reviewed it didn't really comprehend 10 percent of what they read: Eric Raymond doesn't dumb down his prose to suit a non-techie audience.

So- if you haven't read this, you should. You'll enjoy it, and you'll probably learn a thing or two. I certainly did. I think this will be a collector's item some day- it very well could be that important.


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