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OSI Announces Open Source Awards 162

Posted by michael
from the beanies-slightly-ahead-of-their-time dept.
JohnGrahamCumming writes "There's a story running on ZDNet about how OSI is going to be giving Open Source Awards with cash prizes of up to $10,000. The idea is to create the "Nobel Prizes" of Open Source. Announcement was made yesterday as OSCON with some big names backing the awards (e.g. Sun, OSAF and (interestingly) a major venture capital firm USVP)."
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OSI Announces Open Source Awards

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  • by mao che minh (611166) * on Friday July 11, 2003 @05:56PM (#6419956) Journal
    $10,000! That's more cash than most OSS developers see in a full year! An Indian programming outfit could run off that kind of funding for years to come! Go ZDNet and Sun!

    *ducks*

  • by Anonymous Coward
    $10,000?! WOW!

    But really, if one was to write such a super OSS program, wouldn't he be hired by a big corporation and paid at least ten times that amount?
  • Hooray! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Yoda2 (522522) on Friday July 11, 2003 @06:00PM (#6419989)
    Pick me! Pick me! [sourceforge.net] Oh, wait a second... my project isn't popular and no one contributes to it.
    • Well from looking at that project page I notice that it has 0 bugs!!!!
      This is remarkable for an alpha project! I'm sure it will win.
    • It's because it's name is more than 3 syllables, not even including its KBuzzwErD or GNpUn!
    • Re:Hooray! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MikeFM (12491) on Friday July 11, 2003 @07:01PM (#6420448) Homepage Journal
      I wouldn't suggest they award the money to unpopular projects (mine are mostly that way too.. well people use em but seldom contribute) but I would suggest they exclude projects that have funding. I guess I'm suggesting they not give money towards Linux, Apache, PHP, MySQL, Gnome, KDE, Mozilla, OpenOffice, Perl, Python and various other tier one projects. Better to encourage people to write apps that are needed but not as popular. Spread the wealth a little.
      • I think your right on the money. This way the youth can get involved and have an incentive to do great things.

        I've been thinking of a cool project to do recently as i think it would be benifitial to so many people and there doesnt seem to be anything like it around (program and combined licence).

        So this could be the incentive to pull my finger out. Also, this type of this could also attract contributer and customers to your particular Open source product!

        Great Idea!!!
        • LinuxFund (Score:3, Informative)

          by MikeFM (12491)
          LinuxFund to some extend gives money to potential projects but I find their voting process very poor. Not because it's bad but because few people, not themselves trying to get money, bother voting. The end result is that people that get their friends to go vote on their project get votes and nobody else does. If you really want to help lesser projects I suggest you vote at linuxfund.org and maybe get the LinuxFund credit card.
    • Hey! You are doing great! You have ZERO bugs in your program! Amazing, how do you do it?
    • Question? What exactly does that thing DO? hehe
    • There must be a whole lot of people like you... and er me [sourceforge.net]
      Maybe we should form a club. So we can swap tips on how not to get people interested.
    • Who on earth would contribute toe something called E-BLA.
    • No one contributes to it cause their ain't a button to click and pay. ;-)

      And I'm barely able to tell what this can do for me but I'm interested.

  • So then (Score:5, Funny)

    by The Bungi (221687) <thebungi@gmail.com> on Friday July 11, 2003 @06:04PM (#6420028) Homepage
    The Razzies for this will be called "The Pre-Alpha-Aplha Awards", given out to OSS projects that never make it out of "-1, thinking about it"
    • Sometimes I wish some of them stayed in that phase...
    • Hm, my favorite is browsing all of the MMORPGs on sourceforge. Almost without fail, those things feature like three artists, desperately seeking a "C++ Programmer with experience in MFC, DirectX and OpenGL" for a "An online RPG, similar to Everquest but in the setting of $novel by $author". And strangely, they all seem to be lacking a single release... I wonder why :)
  • Sun (Score:4, Funny)

    by josh crawley (537561) on Friday July 11, 2003 @06:04PM (#6420033)
    I thought we decided that Sun was evil this week. Did I miss a memo?
    • Yes, it's amazon.com this week, amazon.com! Next week is Sun! Come on people, get with the program! There are thousands of Indian Slashdot readers ready to take your place!
    • I thought we decided that Sun was evil this week. Did I miss a memo?

      Heh, you're expecting proper cronological order from this editorial staff? Oh, but don't worry- they'll get the order right next time they post the stories. Failing that, third time's the charm.

    • No, this week we're bashing smart-ass clowns who've got nothing better to do than make fun of other slashdotters.
  • Awards.... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Madsci (616781) on Friday July 11, 2003 @06:06PM (#6420047)
    What don't they give awards for nowadays?

    This post, Winner, 2003
    Best Slashdot Post
    Best Use of Consonants in Slashdot Post
    Louis K. Albright Award for Achievement in Punctuation

    .
    • Louis K. Albright Award for Achievement in Punctuation

      Slashdot is the last Web site I'd expect to see take this one home...
    • What don't they give awards for nowadays?
      Best Slashdot Post
      Best Use of Consonants in Slashdot Post

      You're forgetting the obvious award for our dear editors!

      Most # of Dupes

  • It's about time someone does this. First off, open source developers deserve money for a good product (especially if it's comparable to a commercial product that there are paid programmers working on). Second, and perhaps more importantly, this can help attract higher quality programmers with more direction that will make higher quality products, and it can perhaps weed out some projects of promise that stagnate over time.

    Go OSI.

    • Re:About time (Score:1, Insightful)

      by eln (21727)
      Nobody deserves money for anything they produce unless they can and do sell it for money. Open source developers need to realize, and most of them do, that no one is going to pay you to create software on your own time. Sure, you can make money off of it by selling it to others, but if you're developing it for the sole purpose of giving it out for free, complete with source code, you don't deserve nor should you expect any sort of monetary gain.

      It's nice that these awards are coming out, because maybe it
      • Re:About time (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Homology (639438)
        Ah well, the parent must be a troll, but quite a few subscribe to so mercantile and narrow minded views.

        Nobody deserves money for anything they produce unless they can and do sell it for money.

        This view of production is quite naive. Alot of stuff is produced that is not sold, even though the producers get money for their work. An example is mathematicians that produce mathematical knowledge, and are paid for their work by grants and/or saleries. Most mathematics that are produced are certainly not gon

        • This view of production is quite naive. Alot of stuff is produced that is not sold, even though the producers get money for their work. An example is mathematicians that produce mathematical knowledge, and are paid for their work by grants and/or saleries. Most mathematics that are produced are certainly not gonna be "sold" in the near future, if ever.

          What the original poster is kind of true. Under PURE capitalism, what you are saying will likely not be true. Once capitalists are done implementing their

          • Under PURE capitalism, what you are saying will likely not be true

            There no such thing as pure capitalism. There are quite variations, where the current US neo-liberal type is very dominant. Communism may be concidered a form of state capitalism. Scandinavian countries have a mixture of state and private capitalism.

            For example, once schools are privatized (I mean ALL schools; not one here and there), chances of people producing knowledge or work for the public good will almost become extinct

            History s

            • There no such thing as pure capitalism.

              You are right: there isn't a place that practices pure capitalism anywhere. However, the end goal of capitalists is pure capitalism. It may take 150 years, but they are striving to get there. USA may not be be pure capitalist but it is moving in that direction by the day. Consider the fact that USA has actually privatized prisons (only a few but still). What's next? The small police forces? Many "influential" people in USA want schools to be privatized (because pu

              • What's next? The small police forces? Many "influential" people in USA want schools to be privatized (because public schools are apparently all failing eg. Philadelphia school board??). And so on. So do you not think USA will reach that state in the future?

                Greenspan said something to the effect that the big tax cuts is a redistribution of wealth, and would not help the economy on the short term. The strong drive in US to privatize might be seen in this light. Similar things are happening in Europe as we

  • Perhaps this will cause even more people to start codeing!
  • coolio (Score:4, Funny)

    by radiumhahn (631215) on Friday July 11, 2003 @06:15PM (#6420111)
    This could entice Microsoft employees to leak windows code! At least in my world it could. You can't have mine! Get your own unicorns! Ack! Spiders!
  • Is it split? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by anthony_dipierro (543308) on Friday July 11, 2003 @06:20PM (#6420155) Journal
    Open source software is generally written by much more than one person. Would the winner have to split her winnings with hundreds of others, or would the award go to whoever led the project?
    • Re:Is it split? (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      No it isn't.
    • Re:Is it split? (Score:2, Informative)

      That would be up to the person who receives the award. I could imagine that on my project if I received a $500 award I would split it with the other people who make the most contribution to the project. OSI itself is unlikely to try to make that determination for a project leader. John.
      • > I would split it with the other people
        > who make the most contribution

        If PMD [sf.net] gets one of these, I'll use some of the money to buy a nice compiler theory [amazon.com] book for anyone who's willing to write a better symbol table implementation.

    • Open source software is generally written by much more than one person. Would the winner have to split her winnings with hundreds of others, or would the award go to whoever led the project?

      A lot of the larger open source projects have non-profit corporations behind them, so any rewards could go there. Apache, Mozilla, Free Standards Group, GNU, SPI (Debian's corporation), and quite a few more.

      I'd prefer if such a large reward could go somewhere with financial oversight rather than a founder. If it's

  • by Anonymous Coward
    By participating in stuff like this, all we are doing is getting more profits into the hands of big hardware and software integration companies, and getting more people laid off. The idea of Open Source is great for these companies because they dont have to pay for development costs, and they can make bigger profits that way. Who gets the shaft? software developers like you and me. Every body else is happy because they can get very cheap software on multiple patforms all they paid for a few core develop
    • You are so confused. You've just about got it exactly backwards, so perhaps I'm missing your sarcasm or something. Open Source is good for developers who are familiar with it, because companies almost always need additional features or support that aren't in the default build, and thus need developers to create these features for them and support the systems they run on. This applies also to QA and sysadmin people, as well as developers. If you think OSS ruins the job market for developers and system/so
    • Open-source + Free Software = Software Revolution ...at least I think so :)

      You know... The same thoughts entered my mind when I first encountered the whole notion of open-source and free software years ago. For the sake of simplicity, I am going to replace open-source and free software as OSFSF and am going to assume that they are identical in the context of this article (I think it is a valid position to take, especially since most open-source software is free).

      I am still not sure what to make of it.

      • You, my friend, are a starry-eyed idealist. But on the other hand, I can see that you have given this more thought than the average /. reader.

        The majority of OSFSF advocates claim to be capitalists (at least the ones that argue with me). They don't care whether or not OSFSF puts programmers out of work. All they care about is some libertarian ideal. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that Richard Stallman is pretty far to the left.

        One thing I'm sure of is that OSFSF will drive down salaries. Sure, some pr
        • If there are lower margins, clearly salaries must fall...When margins are high, companies don't need to export their workforce to Bangladore.

          Your view seems to be that margins dictate salaries. I strongly disagree with this. Margins have little to do with salaries. Companies may be TEMPTED to provide higher salaries if margins are high but that is not a rule. Just look at some examples.

          A lot of the manufacturers in Canada (and USA too) had fairly decent margins yet they decided to move to other count


          • Incidentally, lowering costs results in lower prices for consumers. However, it also results in lower wages. A classic example is Wal-Mart, which has killed many retailers, yet provides very low prices to consumers. People who work in Wal-Mart get lower wages than the old retailers.

            Yes, I completely agree. That is why I think the /. argument that businesses should be thankful for OSFSF because it lowers their costs. There's a similar argument to the above for profits. Lowered costs only benefit a company
            • That is why I think the /. argument that businesses should be thankful for OSFSF because it lowers their costs. There's a similar argument to the above for profits. Lowered costs only benefit a company if they are the only ones who can realize those savings. If everyone's costs are lowered, profits will go down.

              My feeling is that OS|FS will not have much of an impact on wages. The thing people fail to realize is that the programmers of these projects have to make a living. If the programmers are out of

              • I can't say I speak for all leftists. However, a key underlying philosophy of the left-wing is egalitarianism. You are closer to the right-wing than the left it seems.

                I think there's a lot more to right wing vs. left wing than elitism vs. pragmatism. Your classification of people into two groups seems rather extremist. Personally, I try to stay away from most *isms. (except, perhaps, pragmatism)

                The egalitarian view basically implies that humans are equal, both in terms of their desires, as well as thei
                • I think there's a lot more to right wing vs. left wing than elitism vs. pragmatism. Your classification of people into two groups seems rather extremist. Personally, I try to stay away from most *isms. (except, perhaps, pragmatism)

                  lol I'm the type that uses a lot of ISMs ;) If you are a pragmatist, I'm sort of the opposite: an idealist :) It may seem extremist but that's how things are. Since you are close to the middle, you may not be aware of the core issues that seperate people. The whole left vs ri

                  • It may seem extremist but that's how things are. Since you are close to the middle, you may not be aware of the core issues that seperate people.

                    I doubt that. It's not like I'm sheltered from extremist opinions. I watch CNN. :-)

                    We, on the left, strive to create a society where everyone is treated as equal, given the same opportunity, penalized equally, etc.

                    Right wingers might say the same thing, except that everyone has an equal opportunity to be a self-made man.

                    If anything, men look different from

                    • I guess you are a conservative eh? You can tell where someone is on the econopolitcal spectrum by their opinion of media. Conservatives bash CNN; liberals bash FOX; and people left of left (ie. left to far left; like me) bash all media cuz they are elitist and controlled by a few groups.

                      I already said I was centrist. I don't bash CNN for "being too liberal". I don't have the opportunity to bash Fox News since I don't get that station. My bashing of CNN is based on the fact that in order to get "balanced"
  • OSI? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11, 2003 @06:24PM (#6420178)
    I mean the 7 layer stack is nice and all, but don't they know that TCP/IP is the standard these days?
    • I mean the 7 layer stack is nice and all

      And tasty, too! [216.239.51.104]

  • Venture firm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by overshoot (39700) on Friday July 11, 2003 @06:27PM (#6420197)
    Makes a lot of sense. Venture firms in general have been hurting lately thanks to the depressing influence of the-monopoly-who-shall-not-be-named. If a little seed money can help break things open, it could pay off handsomely. Of course, having first crack at people with serious ability is probaby worth the ante all by itself.
    • Re:Venture firm (Score:2, Informative)

      That's one reason that we contacted VC firms. They are smart enough to realize that knowing the smart engineers (many of whom are working on OSS projects) is the way that they are going to make future money. John.
    • Re:Venture firm (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Ciderx (524837)
      I think its a tad disingenuous to blame Microsoft for the problems that Venture Capital firms are having. Its more to do with them pouring all their money into ridiculous business ideas like web sites which could never make any money and the sort. The last people that deserve any help from anyone in IT, is Venture Capital firms.
    • Vulture Capitalist's are not known for ethics. But then it is no surprise that esr's OSI follows his questionable situational ethics.

      It is an interesting coincidence that the story " Sun expands Unix deal with SCO [com.com]" appeared on slashdot yesterday and Sun is a sponsor of the OSI award.

      CNET Reported:
      A previously secret licensee of SCO Group's Unix intellectual property has revealed its identity: Unix leader Sun Microsystems.

      Sun hasn't been ashamed to try to profit from the effects of that suit. It jumped

  • The Award Categories (Score:3, Informative)

    by JohnGrahamCumming (684871) * <slashdot.jgc@org> on Friday July 11, 2003 @06:30PM (#6420213) Homepage Journal
    The Open Source Awards categories include:

    The Grand Master Award: This award will be given to persons with an outstanding record of contributions to the open-source and Internet cultures. Ideal candidates will have a record not only of technical excellence but of community leadership and service. Along with the recognition as Grand Master, the recipient will receive $10,000 and an invitation to serve as an elector on the collegium that issues the awards.

    Merit Awards: These awards will be given four times per year for work on specific open-source or network-service projects. Recipients will be recognized at the annual event and will receive a cash award of $500.

    The Special Award - These awards may occasionally be conferred at the Awards Committee's discretion as a way of recognizing praiseworthy projects or conduct not covered by the existing regular categories and experimenting with new categories. Recipients will be recognized at the annual event and will receive a cash award of $1500.

  • The Judges (Score:3, Informative)

    by JohnGrahamCumming (684871) * <slashdot.jgc@org> on Friday July 11, 2003 @06:39PM (#6420290) Homepage Journal
    Jeremy Allison, one of the lead developers on the Samba Team, a group of programmers developing an open source Windows(tm) compatible file and print server product for UNIX systems. Allison handles the release engineering and the co-ordination of Samba development efforts worldwide and acts as a corporate liaison to companies using the Samba code commercially.

    Larry Augustin, a venture partner at Azure Capital Partners where he specializes in software, systems, and related IT infrastructure technologies. He currently serves on the boards of directors of VA Software Corporation (as chairman), the Open Source Development Lab, Linux International, and the Free Standards Group. Previously he was conference chairman for LinuxWorld Conference and Expo, and served on the conference advisory board. Augustin has appeared as a regular columnist in Linux Magazine, has written numerous articles, and is the author of "Hardware Design and Simulation in VAL/VHDL," published by Kluwer Academic Publishers.

    Jim Gettys, a member of HP Labs' Cambridge Research Lab, currently working on making open source systems safe on handheld computers. He helped found the handhelds.org community. In 1984, Gettys started the X Window System that forms the base technology of the Linux and UNIX desktops, on which Gnome and KDE are based. Gettys worked at W3C on loan from Compaq Computer Corporation's Industry Standards and Consortia group from 1995-1999. He is the editor of the HTTP/1.1 specification (now an IETF Draft Standard).

    Dr. Marshall Kirk McKusick, author, consultant, and professor on UNIX- and BSD-related subjects. While at the University of California at Berkeley, he implemented the 4.2BSD fast file system and was the research computer scientist at the Berkeley Computer Systems Research Group (CSRG), overseeing the development and release of 4.3BSD and 4.4BSD. He has been a strong advocate for the open-source movement since its inception in the mid 1980s.

    Keith Packard, developer of open source software since 1986. Packard has focused on the X Window System since 1987, designing and executing large parts of the current implementation. He is currently employed by HP as a member of the Cambridge Research Laboratory working on pervasive and mobile computing. In 1999, he received a Usenix Lifetime Achievement award for his work on the X Window System.

    Eric S. Raymond, 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. Raymond is the co-founder of the Open Source Awards.

    Guido van Rossum, creator of Python, one of the major free scripting languages. He created Python in the early 1990s at the National Research Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science in the Netherlands, and is still actively involved in the development of the language. van Rossum recently accepted a position at Elemental Security, a start-up founded by Dan Farmer.

  • <flamebait>

    The nominees in the category of Longest Lived Project to Never Release 1.0 are -

    • Enlightenment
    • the HURD
    • JDOM

    And the winner is ... the HURD! (Cue music as RMS goes up to the stage).

    </flamebait>

  • Cus we all know who would win it :)
  • OSI is going to be giving Open Source Awards with cash prizes of up to $10,000. The idea is to create the "Nobel Prizes" of Open Source.
    ... a Nobel Prize amounts to 10M SEK (125 K$) [nobel.se]. Mind the units !
  • An award often also communicates some kind of an ideological thingy. It would be interesting to see what would happen in terms of community reactions when OSI awards an OSS project that isn't Free Software.
  • Look at their successes here [usvp.com].

    They know that companies can make great produucts and a lot of money using open source tools. Plus, if they get the companies they invest in to use said tools, they can use their capital on more important things, like Aeron chairs... oops wrong decade!

  • Just put a paypal or amazon or some other payment link on your page OR your special address to get mail from the internet jungle.

    For groups you'll have to figure out how to divide the money, just give me a place to send the dough.

    I donate all the time, it's small sure but I do.

    In the past few months I've donated about 110 dollars. I donate to ANYTHING that gives me value and that has a way for me to do so.

    I like doing it.
    • Not everyone does though. My project [sourceforge.net] runs around 400 animal shelters across the US, UK and Australia. These people use it to run their organisations every day and would be lost without it (I get a lot of great feedback), yet how much have I earned to date through my donations page?

      $50

      From ONE user.

      People are basically dishonest, and there's no point playing on conscience as I have found most people don't have one. My user base is famed for not having money (why I do it), but it's not like I haven'
      • I've donated to a local animal shelter for unadoptable furries, both money and a rather moldy PC.

        They have absolutely no extra money, a lot of this couples income goes into the shelter and every contribution helps a great deal.

        Your niche software really is helping shelters out, otherwise they either run on pieced together software or try and get something commercial that's specific at way too much money.

        So be of good cheer the money that was not spent on the software goes to a good cause.

        It would do som
  • Anyone noticed that the 7 person committee includes Dr. Marshall Kirk McKusick (4.2BSD fast filesystem), Eric S. Raymond (loves python), Guido van Rossum (python creator)?

    Wonder how that would affect projects that rival those people's projects to get awards? Say, Hans Reiser (reiserfs), or anything related to Perl?
    • It's worth knowing that the people on the committee are the group that responded fast enough to invitations to join. The full list of people was long and you can expect to see the committee grow.

      Nominations for the awards are going to be from the public and come through me via the OSI web site. I don't have any specific tie to an OSS project (other than my own... POPFile) nor do I favor strongly any OS or language.

      The idea behind the committee was to have people who've been around a long time in OSS. T
  • There's a similar Open Source award (although no fat sacks of cash included). Just a few days ago the ActiveState Active Awards [activestate.com] were handed out at OSCON [oreillynet.com]. These awards are given to those actively contributing in the Open Source world.

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