In another forum I follow,a commented claims that Fossil is designed for "cathedral development" not "bazaar development”
That’s the official stance, not some rand-o’s opinion:
so would be of little interest to anyone
The conclusion does not follow from the premise, else most software would never be written, which we can see from the fact that most software is not written in a bazaar style.
The last time I saw stats on this, it was ~95% written for internal purposes of some sort, with only 5% published. That was before app stores and the explosion of open source, however.
On the other hand, it was also before proprietary web apps, which are often built cathedral-style.
Unfortunately, the poster did not elaborate on why.
Fossil wants contributors to have logins on the repository, not to be unknown outsiders. That in turn suggests an invite-only style of development, which means that a contributor must earn some amount of trust before being given a login.
The above-linked page also talks about contributor agreements and license implications, which I don’t buy as necessary consequences of the Fossil user model, but these concepts are frequent companions, to be sure.
You see this in Fossil’s patch and bundle mechanisms, which are much more rarely used than direct commits. In my own public projects, I take patches and bundles as letters of introduction, which I use in deciding whether to offer someone a login on the repository.
Contrast Git, where the fork-and-PR model is very common, and only the closest inner circle may have direct commit rights on the official repository. That’s bazaar-style.
Except maybe possible issues scaling to a large number of contributors, I don't see how Fossil is less suitable for "bazaar development" than git or Hg.
I think it’s an uninteresting argument for most projects, where 90+% of the code is going to be written by the inner circle anyway, no matter how you structure it, so it doesn’t matter if you call it cathedral-style or something else. Bazaar style development is only common on projects popular with developers, where many skilled people are likely to make valuable contributions.
Even then, it’s not a necessary pairing, as we can see with SQLite itself, where commits are typically allowed only by a very small number.
The Fossil project is more open than SQLite, but even so, only 27% of commits come from anonymous or “other,” with only two people having double-digit percentage commit rates. That’s cathedral-style, right there.