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Open Source Awards 2004 146

An anonymous reader writes "The first Open Source Awards 2004 have been announced. These newly created awards aspire to be the Nobel Prizes of the open source world. Congratulations to the developers of Valgrind, VideoLAN, JACK, and Pango."
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Open Source Awards 2004

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  • by bc90021 ( 43730 ) * <bc90021@bc90 0 2 1.net> on Saturday January 17, 2004 @03:08PM (#8008974) Homepage
    These are the Merit award winners. The Grand Master and Special Awards be announced at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention [oreillynet.com].

    That having been said, these projects definitely deserve their awards. I only have experience with VideoLAN, and it's an awesome piece of software.

    The committee allows nominations from the public any time, here [opensource.org], so go nominate your favourite project or Open Source person today! ;)
    • About valgrind (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 17, 2004 @03:39PM (#8009186)
      Valgrind is the only one I use from the list, and, as an user, I must say that it's one of the best tools in my toolbox.

      Valgrind has saved so many hours of debugging that I don't think any developer should live without it. If you haven't tried it, give it a shot, it might not help you now but it's surelly a valuable asset to have in your toolbox.

      Assuming the others are just as great as Valgrind, I'll surelly give them a try (VideoLAN and JACK, because if you run a gui in linux you probably already run something that uses pango).

      Anyway, kudos for the winners!!
      • Re:About valgrind (Score:3, Interesting)

        by funkmotor ( 535405 )
        Congratulations Julian and Valgrind! As the ac says this is a great and valuable tool.

        Your code might compile and run, but it might also be full of memory bugs just waiting to crash your program as soon as a user gets hold of it. valgrind will find those holes.

        The first memory checking tool I used was insure++ by Parasoft, which, once I realised it's usefulness to debug problems users had encountered, I made it part of the development process and used it in tests to fix the code before it went out. An I

  • What intrigues me... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by revolvement ( 742502 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @03:16PM (#8009030)
    ...is why hasn't something like this been done BEFORE 2003? I mean, it seems like a great idea, so why wasn't there anything available?
  • Hall of Shame (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 17, 2004 @03:19PM (#8009048)
    It should also include the hall of shame for the numerous violators of open source licenses... we need not mention names here... the list is long. Sort of like a vendor black list.

    Yep, you know who they are... I think what ticks me off the most is these violators don't give money, credit or code back - grifters...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 17, 2004 @03:21PM (#8009067)
    ImageMagick

    K3b

    Plone: The most mature open source CMS. http://www.plone.org

    Mamboserver: Not as mature or featurefull as Plone, but very nice as well.

    OfflineIMAP: Simple, reliable, powerful

    Kstars and KDE Technology in general

    The ones that are almost there but could use a hand to make them more intuitive:

    *GNUCash. Can't wait for their Gtk2 version.
    *Mr. Project
    *KOffice has a great technological underpinning. Needs a bit of work, but it's already looking very good.
  • valgrind (Score:4, Informative)

    by badcherry ( 532730 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @03:28PM (#8009117) Homepage
    I don't know how, but I've never heard of or used valgrind before. I am using it right now and OMG, this is so much easier than hunting for memeory bugs! My life just got easier. Thanks valgrind!
  • Reason:
    [Groklaw] deals with the SCO case. Her site is an excellent resource for those looking for a well-maintained and comprehensive guide to what's going on day-to-day surrounding the SCO controversy.
  • nobel prize? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by damacer ( 713360 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @03:31PM (#8009136)
    While it's really nice to see stuff like this where those who have done alot for open source are acknowledged and applauded, doesn't it seem a bit pretentious to compare it to the 'noble prize'?

    That is, isn't the noble prize reserved for those who make a massive contribution to science and/or human wellfare? In this case, there are probably only a very very small handful of people who should receive a noble-like oss reward (e.g. Linus, RMS). And, from the list of people who receive rewards it doesn't seem like they are only limiting them selves to such individuals.
    • Re:nobel prize? (Score:1, Interesting)

      by kayen_telva ( 676872 )
      Noble != Nobel ?

      Who says the Nobel is so pure and warm and fuzzy ?
      Some of those peeps work on bio, nuclear, and chemical weapons.
      Some are involved with cloning.
      Some are just real good at math. Big friggin whoopdeedoo.
      The makers of VideoLAN will have more of an
      impact on my daily life than the guy who solves some math puzzle.
      'course, I could be extremely short sighted ;)
      • Some are just real good at math.
        They have a Fields Medal for that [wolfram.com]
        Some of those peeps work on bio, nuclear, and chemical weapons.
        Encryption software can be readly by individuals of lesser moral standing for devious purposes. By no means does this mean that there should not be research undertaken in cryptology and made freely available
        However, I do think that software could have a signifigant impact on humanity. For instance, look at Linux, OpenOffice etc... Individuals from impovreished areas c
      • Re:nobel prize? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jagasian ( 129329 )

        The makers of VideoLAN will have more of an

        impact on my daily life than the guy who solves some math puzzle.
        'course, I could be extremely short sighted ;)

        Need I even go into the amount of highly sophisticated math required to design something like VideoLAN? How do you think humans gained the capability to develop such sophisticated means of audio and video compression? How about the number theory involved in the asymmetric encryption used by many secure networking protocols?

        Sure the math involved in th

    • That is, isn't the noble prize reserved for those who make a massive contribution to science and/or human wellfare?

      There is a nobel prize for literature, but none for computer science. Which makes the biggest difference to humanity?

      The nobel prize is just the most famous yearly prize for best scientific accievement. The peace nobel-prize I guess, was made to make up for the fact that the money that funds the prizes come from the Nobel-weapon industry (although they have expanded and now cover more than j
      • Re:nobel prize? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Tom7 ( 102298 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @04:59PM (#8009678) Homepage Journal
        There is a nobel prize for literature, but none for computer science. Which makes the biggest difference to humanity?

        I think I gotta go with literature on this one. Anway, computer scientists have the Turing award, which is basically the same thing.

        Also, hacking linux apps and libraries isn't really computer science, although it is useful itself. Certainly these contributions are not of the scale and import as nobel-prize winning breakthroughs.
      • The peace nobel-prize I guess, was made to make up for the fact that the money that funds the prizes come from the Nobel-weapon industry (although they have expanded and now cover more than just explosives).

        Actually, Nobel himself believed that there would be no more wars after the invention of dynamite, because dynamite was so effective. Of course, the cold war didn't happen untill the invention of the atomic bomb, but even that couldn't stop other wars from happening.

  • by Jorrit ( 19549 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @03:36PM (#8009159) Homepage
    I'm very happy to hear that valgrind won an award. This tool is really a life-saver for anyone developing projects on Linux (with x86). In my project we have solved lots of very hard bugs just by running our program under valgrind. For many of those bugs we were not even aware that they existed in the first place :-)

    IMHO valgrind is the single most useful programming tool available on linux. Congratulations to the developers!

    Greetings,
    • This tool is really a life-saver for anyone developing projects on Linux (with x86).

      A quick browsing of the documentation reveals that it works for both C and C++. I presume it wouldn't work for, for instance, Java? Not that Java programs need to be checked for most of those bugs. But does it work for, say Python? Interpreted languages?
    • by WasterDave ( 20047 ) <davep@zedke[ ]om ['p.c' in gap]> on Saturday January 17, 2004 @06:56PM (#8010441)
      Another vote for Valgrind, it's been absolutely wonderful for finding and eliminating memory leak bugs. Not nearly as slow as you would expect it to be either.

      I sent the (lead?) developer some email a while back, saying how entirely l33t he is and hoping that somebody somewhere had given him a job using these skills. The answer? Yup. Works for ARM.

      Must go, I think there's a dead router. On a Sunday.

      Dave
    • Valgrind puts Linux on par with Solaris as far as state-of-the-art UNIX development environments go. Finally, a free alternative to Purify. All software will benefit from the amazing memory/cache/profiling analysis abilities of Valgrind. I cannot say enough good things about Valgrind. Next to GCC, Valgrind is the single most useful software package in any developer's toolkit.

      Purify is the main reason why most UNIX development shops still use Sun equipment. With this obstacle removed expect development shop
  • bully pulpit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ir0b0t ( 727703 ) * <.mjewell. .at. .openmissoula.org.> on Saturday January 17, 2004 @03:39PM (#8009176) Homepage Journal
    These have real potential for communicating a simple message of what "open source" means to non-coders. Unfortunately, I could not discern what that message might be from the site. Also, I'm not familiar enough with the award-winners to understand the significance of their projects within the context of the overall message.

    There is a reason these folks were singled out that should resonate beyond the consoles of the like-minded. That reason should state plainly the importance of open source to the mission of civilization overall: service to the higher ideas of truth, freedom and better flavors of ice cream.

    But what is that message? And in language that I (or other person with developmentally-delayed level programming knowledge) can understand?

    • There is a reason these folks were singled out that should resonate beyond the consoles of the like-minded. That reason should state plainly the importance of open source to the mission of civilization overall: service to the higher ideas of truth, freedom

      I don't see how "higher ideas of truth" are served by changing this from something that recognises and rewards real, practical, valuable contributions to the Open Source world into something that is essentailly cheerleading, PR orientated phooey.

    • These have real potential for communicating a simple message of what "open source" means to non-coders. (...) There is a reason these folks were singled out that should resonate beyond the consoles of the like-minded. That reason should state plainly the importance of open source to the mission of civilization overall: service to the higher ideas of truth, freedom and better flavors of ice cream.

      Actually, based on the type of projects chosen, I would say it's a recognition from the OSS community to projec
      • That's a really good point. I also overlooked the extent to which philosophical differences already rend the otherwise cooperative spirit of the open source community.
  • My opinion (Score:3, Offtopic)

    by Elektroschock ( 659467 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @03:45PM (#8009213)
    FFII [ffii.org] might get my merit award.

    No FLOSS - organisation had done more for Open Source Lobbying in 2003. They smashed the EU software patent legislation while the OSI kept silent, OSI even announced [opensource.org] they were not opposed to software patentability: "The Open Source Initiative does not have a position on whether ideas can be owned, whether patents are good or bad, or any of the related controversies. We think the economic self-interest arguments for open source are strong enough that nobody needs to go on any moral crusades about it."
    So who works against us?
  • by LighthouseJ ( 453757 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @03:46PM (#8009216)
    Brian Wellington [mailto] and Matias Duarte [mailto].

    Who is Brian Wellington and Matias Duarte you say? Well, they are the creators of XBill [xbill.org] and let me get out so much aggression. Go pick up the latest copy for your favorite platform.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Back in the day (around 0.4.x releases) VideoLAN Client was the only solution (for the "Classic Mac User Mindset" people) that:

    -Was (and is) easy to install (MPlayerOSX was still at a fledling state, IIRC getting it to work required compiling or something ... remember the "Classic Mac User Mindset"...) VLC provided an easy-to-install bundle file that "just worked" as a Mac User expected things to work.

    -Handled just about every media file you got to throw at it, in some cases even better than the official
    • Also, VLC on OS X has improved a lot. With version 0.7, it finally has a decent interface on OS X; the previous versions had interfaces slightly better than MPlayerOSX, but not by much. I'd say it's only second to QuickTime Player in interface (sometimes) and speed (on older hardware); it plays so many more formats than QT does.
  • Congratulations to the developers of Valgrind, VideoLAN, JACK, and Pango.


    Four pieces of 'Nobel' winners which I have never heard of. Time to RTFA and educate myself what are these crucial parts of OSS I never even dreamed to need.
  • I nominate Asterisk [asterisk.org] and MythTV [mythtv.org]
  • My thoughts... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by singularity ( 2031 ) * <[nowalmart] [at] [gmail.com]> on Saturday January 17, 2004 @04:04PM (#8009312) Homepage Journal
    One program that I use daily that does not get a lot of mention is Adium [adiumx.com], a GPLed AIM client on the Mac.

    The older version, v1.6.x series, has a few cosmetic problems under Panther (works perfectly under Jaguar), but in general is outstanding. Why anyone would use the AOL client under OS X with Adium and iChat available is beyond me. The only thing that iChat has going for it over Adium is the video conferencing feature.

    Highly configurable, easy to use, and has a great feature set.

    v2.0, now in late-alpha, looks to be even better, going to a modular protocol backend, meaning it can do AIM/MSN/etc.

    I have used VideoLan Client on OS X and really like that, as well. It opens about 98% of the files that MPlayer can handle, and has an interface that is leaps and bounds beyond MPlayer (for a good example of how *not* to write an OS X interface, check out MPlayer for OS X).
  • To emulate the Nobel prize, the Open Source community need one centralized ceremony rotating for all the countries (not only USA).

    Is a fantastic idea this prize. Congratulations for the Commitee, the Sponsors and the Winners!
  • by Chemical Serenity ( 1324 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @04:12PM (#8009349) Homepage Journal
    I've seen a lot of people comment (well, piss and moan really) about the fact that they:

    a) Never heard of these things, and

    b) Would probably never use them

    Obviously the criteria for choosing these tools as being worthy of mention isn't based on how sexy they are, it's based on how USEFUL they are.

    OSS development still suffers from an excess of people wanting to work on the 'sexy' code... the things that blink and humm and make people go 'wow cool', and a deficit of coders willing to slug it out on the basic, relatively un-sexy tools that make those other things possible. Giving kudos to people who take the time to build solid and dependable frameworks enhances OSS and software generally, and imo deserves more recognition than they currently get.

    Who knows, maybe they can encourage a shift in young coder minds that building solid tools can be sexy too...

    ... nah. :D

  • Damn... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The first Open Source Awards 2004

    Well, we almost made it through January.
  • Yes valgrind! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom7 ( 102298 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @04:56PM (#8009657) Homepage Journal
    Man, valgind is so great. I don't know how anyone can bear programming in C or C++ without it.
  • Ximian (Score:1, Interesting)

    I would particularly like to congratulate Ximian on their accomplishments this year. Without their work, Linux would not be as usable!
    • And with Robert Love [ximian.com] now on board this year promises to be another good one for creating an even tighter desktop experience.

      Keep up the good work monkeys.
      • Yes! I am happy that Robert is working for them now. I have known Robert for several years now (through my work with the Ximian desktop) and he is very professional and dedicated to seeing the end-user Linux experience improved.
  • JACK is amazing (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    JACK and its companion, Ardour are what got me to move the last machine in the house, the one in the music studio, off of Windows to Linux. It's professional level software made avalable at no cost.

    This is a well-deserved honor for Paul Davis and crew.
  • from the charter [opensource.org]:
    From one to
    three Merit Awards will be given out at or near the end of each quarter.
    They have clearly given out four Merit Awards this time. Anyone seen any coments on why they did this? Is it awards for the two last quarters of 2003 or is it because it's the first time they give them out?
    • Because we had a tie and decided that rather than be mean we'd be generous and give four.

      In general we'll be sticking as closely as possible to the charter and you'll see one to three per quarter, but hey, there were four great project and the Collegium had a tie.

      John.

  • Having used Mythtv for the past month, I am surprised to not see this app in the list. Easily the coolest computer application I have ever used - let alone it being open-source.

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