“Treating your users as co-developers is your least-hassle route to rapid code improvement and effective de-bugging.”

(Raymond 1997, p. 6)

The ‘The Cathedral and the Bazaar’ by Eric Steven Raymond talks about two different ways of developing software. The first is the ‘cathedral’ model, where software is developed in a controlled environment and managed by a select group of developers; for example the technology company Apple which only relies on its employees for innovation and collaboration. The second is the ‘bazaar’ model, which relies on the collaboration of multiple parties – professional or not – to develop a technology. Google’s Android software, a major rival to Apple in the smartphone market, uses this approach.

Google gives Android’s source code to their users freely so they can alter and develop it as they like, meaning that Android’s software is updated a lot quicker than Apple’s causing a ‘release early, and release often’ scenario (Raymond 1997, pp. 7-8). This means that Android’s users are “produsers“, or users who also produce content. While users can also create content for Apple, it must always be approved unlike Android content. Creating content for Android’s bazaar gives the user a lot of creative freedom and also helps the software’s overall progression and improvement.

What if I told you

(Made on http://imgur.com)

Full article reference:

Raymond, E.S. 1997, The Cathedral and the Bazaar, Unterstein, accessed 8/9/2015, http://www.unterstein.net/su/docs/CathBaz.pdf