Eric Raymond: The Cathedral and the Bazaar

Eric Raymond: The Cathedral and the Bazaar

Creator: Eric Raymond, is a software programmer, author and open source software advocate. After the publication of his book, The Cathedral and the Bazaar, he became the unofficial spokesman for the open source movement.

Purpose: To offer guidelines for creating good open source software. The cathedral represents the top-down traditional approach to developing software. In contrast the Bazaar represents the bottom-up approach typified by open-source software.

Manifesto: The Cathedral and the Bazaar

1. Every good work of software starts by scratching a developer’s personal itch.

2. Good programmers know what to write. Great ones know what to rewrite (and reuse).

3. Plan to throw one away; you will, anyhow.

4. If you have the right attitude, interesting problems will find you.

5. When you lose interest in a program, your last duty to it is to hand it off to a competent successor.

6. Treating your users as co-developers is your least-hassle route to rapid code improvement and effective debugging.

7. Release early. Release often. And listen to your customers.

8. Given a large enough beta-tester and co-developer base, almost every problem will be characterized quickly and the fix obvious to someone.

9. Smart data structures and dumb code works a lot better than the other way around.

10. If you treat your beta-testers as if they’re your most valuable resource, they will respond by becoming your most valuable resource.

11. The next best thing to having good ideas is recognizing good ideas from your users. Sometimes the latter is better.

12. Often, the most striking and innovative solutions come from realizing that your concept of the problem was wrong.

13. Perfection (in design) is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but rather when there is nothing more to take away.

14. Any tool should be useful in the expected way, but a truly great tool lends itself to uses you never expected.

15. When writing gateway software of any kind, take pains to disturb the data stream as little as possible—and never throw away information unless the recipient forces you to!

16. When your language is nowhere near Turing-complete, syntactic sugar can be your friend.

17. A security system is only as secure as its secret. Beware of pseudo-secrets.

18. To solve an interesting problem, start by finding a problem that is interesting to you.

19. Provided the development coordinator has a communications medium at least as good as the Internet, and knows how to lead without coercion, many heads are inevitably better than one.



The Cathedral and the Bazaar on Wikipedia

Eric Raymond on Wikipedia

Image from the cover of the book.

Mozilla: The Mozilla Manifesto

Mozilla Manifesto

Creator: Mozilla is a global, non-profit open-source software building organisation that is best known for creating the web browser Firefox

Purpose: To ensure the Internet is developed in a way that benefits everyone. The principles in this manifesto are seen to be critical for the Internet to continue to benefit the public good.

The Mozilla Manifesto


The goals for the Manifesto are to:

  1. Articulate a vision for the Internet that Mozilla participants want the Mozilla Foundation to pursue;
  2. Speak to people whether or not they have a technical background;
  3. Make Mozilla contributors proud of what we’re doing and motivate us to continue; and
  4. Provide a framework for other people to advance this vision of the Internet.

These principles will not come to life on their own. People are needed to make the Internet open and participatory – people acting as individuals, working together in groups, and leading others. The Mozilla Foundation is committed to advancing the principles set out in the Mozilla Manifesto. We invite others to join us and make the Internet an ever better place for everyone.


  1. The Internet is an integral part of modern life–a key component in education, communication, collaboration, business, entertainment and society as a whole.
  2. The Internet is a global public resource that must remain open and accessible.
  3. The Internet should enrich the lives of individual human beings.
  4. Individuals’ security on the Internet is fundamental and cannot be treated as optional.
  5. Individuals must have the ability to shape their own experiences on the Internet.
  6. The effectiveness of the Internet as a public resource depends upon interoperability (protocols, data formats, content), innovation and decentralized participation worldwide.
  7. Free and open source software promotes the development of the Internet as a public resource.
  8. Transparent community-based processes promote participation, accountability, and trust.
  9. Commercial involvement in the development of the Internet brings many benefits; a balance between commercial goals and public benefit is critical.
  10. Magnifying the public benefit aspects of the Internet is an important goal, worthy of time, attention and commitment.

Mozilla Foundation Pledge

The Mozilla Foundation pledges to support the Mozilla Manifesto in its activities. Specifically, we will:

  • Build and enable open-source technologies and communities that support the Manifesto’s principles;
  • Build and deliver great consumer products that support the Manifesto’s principles;
  • Use the Mozilla assets (intellectual property such as copyrights and trademarks, infrastructure, funds, and reputation) to keep the Internet an open platform;
  • Promote models for creating economic value for the public benefit; and
  • Promote the Mozilla Manifesto principles in public discourse and within the Internet industry.

Some Foundation activities–currently the creation, delivery and promotion of consumer products–are conducted primarily through the Mozilla Foundation’s wholly owned subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation.


The Mozilla Foundation invites all others who support the principles of the Mozilla Manifesto to join with us, and to find new ways to make this vision of the Internet a reality.


Manifesto Page:

About Mozilla: