On all of this discussion I mostly miss the word of old age and experience.
Probably because the downing of the Bazaar came to crystallize the old
Let me explain: it is true that a cathedral is very well engineered. But it
is no less true that after any long experiece, it is but a glorified version
of the humble bazaar shop.
When you start building and designing a cathedral you do it considering the
materials, tools and knowledge that you have at hand at the time. But times,
they are a'changin. And sooner or later the cathedral will not be fit for
your needs and you will need to build another. The life cycle may be longer,
or not, but it is still the same. You must throw away the design and start
a-new from scratch sooner or later.
To continue the analogy. I was often puzzled by ancient megalythic monuments.
I recently visited a multi-dolmen site. They transpire an evolution from the
cave in a mountain to huge stones making up an artificial mountain and cave,
to smaller megalyths, to pyrammids, to probably smaller stone temples,
possibly to the brick and mortar ziggurats of the early bronze age... with
the obvious return to stone in the Classic to Neoclassic period and back to
brick and mortar today...
At any rate, caves probably became inconvenient in the Neolythic when hunters
became farmers in the plains and they had to "reinvent" them. The Bronze Age
allowed reducing the size of the megalyths. The Iron Age allowed making regular
stones... and so on.
In the end, you start with Unix and one day you need to add unforeseen technology
such as VM, so you redesign and rebuild it. Then you need plug-and-play, so you
redesign and rebuild it. Then you want support for zillions of devices and need
to separate/modularize the kernel from device drivers, and redesign and rebuild
it to a micro-kernel-like system, and then you want to have zillions of hackers
or developers, and you need to redesign/rebuild it, and then you want isolation
and redesign it to have jails/VMs/whatever, and so on.
So, pray, what is the difference? For anything we build, we will have to re-design
and rebuild it sooner or later, because it no longer satisfies our needs or
because new, better, more modern tools and needs come into existence. The life
cycle may be millenia, centuries, decades, years, months or weeks, but you
can never foresee all future needs, you will always have to re-design and
re-build. You will always be "building", be it complex cathedrals of chaotic
bazaars. In the end they are both the same.
It is not the Cathedral versus the Bazaar. It is all about building for your
In the Classic times of the Roman monuments, every household also had its own
lair, shrine, for the family "good ancestors" which remained as gods (lares).
You need both, the Cathedral and the Bazaar at all times. A good mason, a good
architect or a good IT professional understands of "building", and should not
need to care whether his assignment is a temple or a shrine.
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