Open Source – How to Not Build a Cathedral

Creating an piece of software “cathedral” style requires a skilled set of people working independently on different portions, but the success of Linux uses bazaar style development to accelerate development. My personal open source project FastFilm was a cathedral. After reading about principle number ten, “If you treat your beta-testers as if they’re your most valuable resource, they will respond by becoming your most valuable resource,” I realize I must repent. I vow to improve my code through promptly listening to these bug reports rather than waiting until the tester loses interest. This creates a better bazaar as I listen to the user. Fixing flaws for them helps them create ownership in the software by seeing their requests become reality. They will become more valuable as I have released new versions of my software because they will notice I cared and in turn I will e-mail more bugs for me to fix. This iterative development cycle of people reporting bugs, and releasing improved versions, leads to accelerated development and more and more users.

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