The Cathedral is Still Prettier than the Bazaar

Posted by – November 10, 2009

The open source software model—Eric Steven Raymond’s “Bazaar“—may tend to produce technically solid, stable software systems; it may, as Raymond says, offer many efficiencies over the proprietary software model (the “Cathedral”); it may even be the best way to write certain types of applications. Be that as it may, and with notable exceptions, most FOSS user interfaces are ugly, convoluted, barely-usable dreck. There does not seem to be much market pressure in the Bazaar to make the stall pretty, and in the critical but oft-neglected area of User Experience, the Cathedral continues to dominate.