Postmodern Culture (May 2003) Volume 13, Number 3.
The traces of power in the network society are equally located in the architecture of bricks and mortar and the architecture of information, the discursive practices that constitute the coding of network topologies. This paper examines the discourse of computer programming through Eric Raymond’s ethnographical account of the Open Source software developmental model. Raymond’s Open Source software manifesto, "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" (hereafter, "CatB"), the infamous text that inspired Netscape to release the source code for its Web browser in 1998 in an attempt to compete with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, differentiates Open Source software development, which is figured as nonlinear and self-organizing, from Closed Source, which is represented as hierarchical and authoritarian. The Open Source model has been characterized by some as representing a liberatory politics for the information age. Open Source, as represented in the work of Raymond, is a tactical political philosophy whose central architectural metaphors — the bazaar, and its supplementary term, the cathedral — share theoretical homologies with anarchistic poststructuralist statements by Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Lebbeus Woods, and Hakim Bey....