Linux: A bazaar at the edge of chaos (originally published in Volume 5, Number 3, March 2000)

Ko Kuwabara

Abstract


This paper establishes a context for the work of Eric Raymond and his description of the Linux phenomenon, by examining the emerging science of complex adaptive systems pioneered by John Holland, Christopher Langton, Robert Axelrod, among others. Raymond's evolutionary view is given an extended and more formal treatment under the terms of chaos and complexity, and chaos and complexity under the terms of sociology. In addition, this paper presents an ethnographic account of Linux, amassed from a series of electronic mail interviews with kernel developers. These interviews examine Linux as a social phenomena, which has prompted wide interest and become a subject of heated discussion. Comments and feedback of this paper can be found at http://www.cukezone.com/kk49/linux/contents.html

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v0i0.1482



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