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February 8, 2001

Eric Raymond's Open Source Manifesto--Revised and Updated for the New Millennium

Sebastopol, CA--It's been called "the most important book of the software frontier of the 1990s"--"the definitive work on the open source evolution"--"a landmark piece of information technology"--"a must read for anyone that wants to understand what open source software is all about." The Computer Press Association bestowed it with its Best Nonfiction Computer Book Award of 2000; "ForeWord Magazine" voted it Business Book of the Year, and "The Designer's Bookshelf" gave it its Editor's Choice Award. The accolades for The Cathedral & the Bazaar, the book of seminal essays, (originally published online) by hacker philosopher Eric S. Raymond, acknowledge the impact of open source software on the technology world. Raymond's evangelism helped persuade Netscape to release their browser as open source, put Linus Torvalds on the cover of "Forbes Magazine" and Microsoft on the defensive, and helped Linux rock the world of commercial software. As spiritual father of the open source revolution, he has created an unparalleled philosophical analysis of the hacker world with his writings, and has shown how profoundly the open source movement affects the world at large.

O'Reilly has just released a revised and expanded edition of The Cathedral & the Bazaar ( US $16.95 paperback, $24.95 hardcover), including new material on open source developments in 1999 and 2000. New essays address the economics of open source and open source as a competitive weapon. Predictions in the chapter "Revenge of the Hackers" are examined from the perspective of one year later, and new ones are added. "There's a juicy new section on the mechanics of bazaar development that discusses communications structures and the nitty-gritty of parallel debugging and why it works so well," says Raymond. "I develop a more detailed analysis of project forking. Evolutionary handicap theory--why peacocks have feathers and stags have horns--is probably important to any account of open source developer motivation; I go into that. I also take a harder look at the economic question of why open source software isn't an underprovided resource. A statistical appendix on the growth of the fetchmail project has been added."

Raymond adds: "I ran the book revision process in the same way the book describes open source development. I let it be known that I would accept and incorporate good patches, constructive criticism. I rewarded people who generated good insights by giving them credit in the revision. This is how we do things in hackerland; it's our combination of individual visions and collaborative synergy that makes us powerful."

Interest in open source software development has grown enormously in the past year. According to the August 2000 Forrester Report, 56 percent of Global 2,500 companies use some type of open source software in their infrastructure, and another 6 percent plan to install it in the next two years.

The Cathedral & the Bazaar is a must read for anyone who cares about the future of the computer industry. According to Bob Young, CEO of Linux pioneer Red Hat, "This is Eric Raymond's great contribution to the success of the open source revolution, to the adoption of Linux-based operating systems, and to the success of open source users and the companies that supply them."

The Cathedral & the Bazaar is the manifesto and the declaration of independence of a revolution in progress.

Online Resources: The Cathedral & the Bazaar
Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary
By Eric S. Raymond
Paperback Edition February 2001
ISBN 0-596-00108-8, 241 page, $16.95 (US)
Hardback Edition February 2001
ISBN 0-596-00131-2, 241 pages, $24.95 (US) 1-800-998-9938

About O'Reilly

O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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