Sunday, September 18, 2011

Module 3

1. What is an argument? Give several examples.

An argument is short form for "command line argument", information provided after the command itself indicating the directory or file to which the command should be applied. You use it to indicate specific files like file1, file2, file8, or directories like home.

2. Use the man pages to tell me two options for the ls command and what they do.

The options for the ls (list directory contents) command: -s is sort by file size, and -r is reverse order while sorting.

3. Use the internet to look up "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" and tell me what it is and why it is important.

"The Cathedral and the Bazaar" is an essay/book written by programmer Eric S. Raymond. Originally it was presented by Mr. Raymond to the Linux Kongress in 1997. Mr. Raymond's essay outlined the conflicts that arose from attempting to use the traditional (Cathedral style) method of software development for open source programming. Mr. Raymond established guidelines for creating good open-source software, and was a leading force in the movement towards the bottom-up development and bazaar style. He believed that by releasing your code early in the process and as often as possible, you not only benefit the project by allowing others to work it and develop it from there, but also by turning your users and peers into a beta-testing group to help tackle possible bugs and solve problems with greater efficiency.

Mr. Raymond's succinct argument persuaded the Open-Source community to formally adopt Bazaar as their method of development. His points were based not only in highly practical approaches to problem solving, but also in a sort of moral code- obligations of users and developers to one another, and the community. These principles are the foundation of the open-source movement and had a direct impact on things like Mozilla (natch FireFox), Google and Google Labs, and much user-generated content like Wikipedia and such.

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