(NOTE revised Friday date)

    Washington Metro Objectivism Discussion (WMOD)

             Friday, December 17, 1999   

             "Open Source Software"

                by Eric Raymond 

The basic idea behind open source is very simple. 
When programmers on the Internet can read,
redistribute, and modify the source for a piece
of software, it evolves. People improve it, people
adapt it, people fix bugs. And this can happen at
a speed that, if one is used to the slow pace of
conventional software development, seems astonishing. 

The open-source community have learned that this
rapid evolutionary process produces better software
than the traditional closed model, in which only a
very few programmers can see source and everybody
else must blindly use an opaque block of bits.

Open-source software is peer-reviewed software;
it is more reliable than closed, proprietary software.
Mature open-source code is as bulletproof as
software ever gets.

This is a radical idea to many businesspeople. 
Many have a belief that open-source software is
necessarily not `professional', that it is shoddily
made and more prone to fail than closed software.

Eric S. Raymond is an Internet developer and writer
living in Malvern, PA.  He describes himself as a
wandering anthropologist and troublemaking
philosopher who happened to be in the right place
at the right time, and has been wondering whether
he should regret it ever since.

Eric is an observer-participant anthropologist in
the Internet hacker culture. His research has helped
explain the decentralized open-source model of
software development that has proven so effective
in the evolution of the Internet. His own software
projects include one of the Internet's most
widely-used email transport programs. Mr. Raymond is
also a science fiction fan, a musician, an activist
for the First and Second Amendments, and a martial
artist with a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. His home page
is http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr. For more information
on open source see his http://www.opensource.org/ and
read his influential essay "The Cathedral and the Bazaar"

              October Meeting

Thanks again to Stephen Moses for his October 14 talk
on "The Long Term Care Crisis".  There was no November
WMOD meeting. 

              July Mountain Climb

After each IOS Summer Philosophy Seminar there is an
unofficial mountain climb, and this year we attempted
Mount Washington in NH.  For pictures of the climb, see

      When and Where is the WMOD Meeting?

Please join WMOD on Friday, December 17.  Anyone who is
interested in rational discussion of Ayn Rand's ideas is welcome.
Note that our meeting location is Metro accessible.  You can
either join us for drinks at 6:30 with dinner at 7 PM and/or for
the talk (free) at 8:15 PM at the Hunan Palace in Rosslyn, VA
just across the Key Bridge from Georgetown.  The street address is
1812 North Moore Street.  If you come by Metro, get off at the
Rosslyn Metro Exit and the Hunan Palace is only a few feet away.
Take the street exit on N. Moore Street (across street from Roy
Rogers/Burger King), go out of Metro and take a left, and the
Palace is a few feet down N. Moore Street.  If you drive, there is
a parking garage (Allstate) next door to the Palace that is free
after 6:00 PM.  Due to construction you may have to go down the
ramp to the underground level.  There will be a $15 fixed price
dinner (including tax and tip), or you can order from the menu. 
Please RSVP to WMOD at (703) 820-7696 before noon on Friday
12/17 so that we can tell the restaurant how many tables to set
up and how many to expect for dinner.  For more information,
call the Hunan Palace at (703) 528-8188, or call David Saum
at (703) 820-7696 (W) or (703) 671-5119 (H).  

                  Future Meetings

WMOD meetings are generally held on the third Wednesday of each
month.  We are always looking for new stimulating meeting topics
related to Objectivism.  Please contact WMOD if you have
suggestions for meeting topics and locations, or if you can
volunteer some time to arrange meetings.

                DC Metro Area Calendar

        The Objectivist Center (formerly IOS) events

        Cato Institute Events

        Free-Market.Net Calendar

       Future of Freedom Foundation Events
       Institute for Humane Studies
(please let WMOD know about other events that we should list) 
               WMOD Contact Information

The WMOD newsletter is $10/yr, this email newsletter is free.

  Dave Saum
  PO Box 8007
  Falls Church, VA 22041
    Email: DSaum at infiltec.com
    Phone: (703) 820-7696
    Fax: (703) 671-9350
    Web: http://www.infiltec.com/wmod.htm

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