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The 2000 Beanies

Category: Most Improved Open Source Project 66

The grand prize Slashdot 2000 Beanie Award is Most Improved Open Source Project. Nominations are open for 2 weeks, and you're welcome to talk about your choices. Good luck.
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Category:Most Improved Open Source Project

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I think the GLX project [openprojects.net] should be commended for the progress they've made in the past months.
  • The length that Rasterman and Mandrake have taken this has been incredible. This still "beta"-ish window manager is the standard on many distributions even over those which have been established "standards" for years. . .
  • The Mozilla project in the last year has come back from the grave and has made insane progress. I think it deserves the award for improving despite the negative views of others.
  • They have added a ton of new projects under them. From the Jakarta Project (Tomcat and Watchdog) to ECS. They are creating a lot of good tools if you want to build a web-based app with something more advanced than perl.


  • What you've stated is really what these awards are supposed to be about. Slashdot has considerable weight as a community voice and this is a chance shine some spotlight on projects that matter to us, or some of us at least.
  • There's just so many projects which deserve -some- recognition for the amazing progress they've made. As others have noted, Berlin and the Mozilla project have both made staggering strides, despite their ambitious goals.

    As well as those two, it's only right to mention Squishdot, one of the best news services there is, besides Slashdot. PHP and Zope have both sky-rocketted in the past year, too.

    Then, there are the International Patches, and FreeS/WAN, both of which are incredible pieces of work.

    Reiserfs deserves a mention, being the most novel filing system out there, and the first with journalling for Linux.

    The Free Film Project's goals are perhaps the most ambitious of any existing free project, but it is progressing amazingly well. (Though maybe I'm biased. :)

    L4Linux and S/390 Linux are both doing incredibly well, and take Linux to heights hithertoo unimagined.

  • Hrm. I don't think it's been around long enough to be most improved. I understand you sentiments and at first was tempted to agree. And I think they certainly could use the money. But I think giving them the award would be unfair considering the amount of work mozilla has put into their project. They have slaved all year on this project in spite of people in /this/ community pooh-poohing their work. There is no comparison between mozilla and livid in the amount of work that has been done. Not that I don't appreciate the work Livid has done, and not that I don't think it's important. I just think mozilla is more deserving of this award at this point in time. I do encourage you to vote for them or for freemware for the "Most deserving of 2000$" award though. As I think either of those projects meet that category.
  • Forgot the footnote to my comment:
    [1] used exclusively except when viewing SSL sites as Mozilla doesn't contain any cryptography code due to US export regulations.
    However cryptography will be included in the Netscape released version of Mozilla (although they're not allowed export the source to the crypto module) and anyone else is free[2] to add cryptography to Mozilla if they want.

    [2] free if their country allows it!
  • I'm going to go with KDevelop [kdevelop.org] on this. I'm predicting KOffice in 2001...
  • One year ago, Tallyman was in prototype stage, a custom-designed ecommerce system for a golf retailer. Now, it's a GPLed fully functional system with features comparable to commercial ecommerce systems. http://www.tallyman.com [tallyman.com]
  • If you are going to go for something like this, I think newpcm of FreeBSD probably is more deserving than ALSA - there was a point where I thought ALSA would make Linux beat FreeBSD, but if this post matches reality, then newpcm (which was behind) has pulled ahead - it has already effectively replaced OSS/Lite (aka VoxWare) in FreeBSD, and I expect VoxWare to be cut away any day now. I got no protests from users when I chopped off large parts of it due to version conflicts causing compilation warnings.


  • by Big Z ( 6597 )

    GNUstep [gnustep.org] has come a long way, and has the potential of allowing for easier development of more robust applications for "The Movement".
  • The Python community (and its leader Guido van Rossum) deserves a great award, especially since the launch of the Python Consortium and project CP4E (Computer Programing for Everybody), which needs a lot of support to develop a cool programming environment for Python.
  • by Cris ( 7932 )
    Unquestionably, PHP has grown by leaps and bounds with the impending release of PHP4 and the overall quality of PHP3. Now being used on over 1 million websites (based on Netcraft's results), it is slowly becoming the Internet's newest and greatest buzzword.
  • Hear, Hear! Compare the success of the Seamonkey, with the (apparent) stagnation at the time JWZ quit.
  • Its already supporting a lot of cards, and in my opinion its almost ready to replace the ever popular OSS in the kernel.
  • Well, I'm certainly biased as I'm the original author of Crystal Space. CS has made some very significant progress lately. Thanks to a very active community. Check out url at http://crystal.linuxgames.com if you want. By the way, Crystal Space is an Open Source 3D engine for Linux, Windows, OS/2, BeOS, Mac, DOS, FreeBSD, SGI, Solaris, NextStep, ... It can use OpenGL, Direct3D, Glide or software rendering...

  • How is gcc the most improved OSS project?

    I could go for most important, but as I see it gcc is not improving that much, our lord and master Linus Torvalds still warns people against using egcs.

    But without gcc many OSS project would never have been born, or only work vith Visual C++.
  • I must start by stating that I really like what GCC has done for me, but.

    The release notes for Linux 2.2.14 [linux.org.uk] state:

    This code is intended to build with gcc 2.7.2 and egcs 1.1.2. Patches for building with gcc 2.95 are merged but less tested than other compilers. Caution is recommended when using gcc 2.95 and feedback is sought.

    It looks like gcc is coming around, maybe it was improving towards the end of the year. The warning I read from these Release notes are not as strong against egcs and gcc 2.95 as the last time I looked.

  • I can't help thinking that X is becoming the Open Source equivalent of bloatware.

    At least someone is doing something about - and they deserve support - The Berlin Windowing System [benham.net] is an ambitious but extremely promising project.

    And it's come a helluva long way.
  • For those of you who have digital cameras, I'm pretty sure that www.gphoto.org has become quite a useful site. We support more cameras than any other software on any platform (at least I've seen no others anywhere close) and considering the whole thing started relatively recently, I'd say that's quite an improvement.

    The project is also actively involved in encouraging camera companies to play nicely and one or two have opened their specifications as a result. The most remarkable being Konica who not only did that but supplied a GPLd driver for us to extend to our hearts content.

    As to whether we deserve that 30K. Well, probably not but if you really think we should then give it to the FSF/GNU instead since they'd do better things with it than spend it on beer.

  • Joking!
  • I'd vote for ClanLib. This is a multiplatform game developer sdk. Lots of people are working very hard to make this the most easy-to-use, fast and portable library. Unix needs good games!
  • I don't know if you guys know about Stampede [stampede.org], but it certainly has seen more progress than I'd ever though possible over this year. Stampede is a distribution built completely from scratch to provide an optimized distribution for not only Intel (with pgcc), but also the Alpha platform. Stampede has progressed rapidly such that a new development version of .90 is out every few weeks.
    I'm biased, but what the hell! I vote for Stampede!

    ------------------------------------------------ ----------------
    Everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey...
  • --neil (posting anonymously because unpopular opinions are discouraged on slashdot)

    Unpopular opinions aren't themselves discouraged. But pointless, malicious attacks agaisnt people are. Basically the above can be summed up 'Malda doesn't know what he is doing.' Thats not a nice thing to say. :)

    Maybe you could have tried something like this:

    In my humble opinion, I don't think that the #1 Grand Prize should be given in the 'Most Improved' category. I think this because [insert reason here]. Perhaps the Grand Prize should be given in the [insert category here] category.

    Rules for good karma:

    1. Don't insult people.
    2. Support your opinions.
    3. Think before you post.
    4. Think during your post.

    I think your post does deserve a (Score:-1, Flamebait) marker. It adds absolutely nothing of value to the thread.

    I never post Anonymously. Why bother? If you've got something contructive to say, there is no reason I should need to hide my identity. If ever I was going to say something that was going to be a waste of time, I wouldn't do it anonymously; I just wouldn't do it at all.

  • In April 1999, egcs merged with GNU C, producing the new GNU C. Version 2.95 was released, and with some minor bug fixes is now at 2.95.2.

    Although there were warnings about egcs, I believe that most if not all Linux distributions were distributing egcs instead of GNU C before the projects merged.

    There's a ton of new and upgraded stuff from egcs that is now part of GNU C. I'd appreciate people posting information about problems or warnings here - it seems to me to be rock solid. The list of changes is extensive, and online at the GCC web site [gnu.org]
  • Let's face it: without common standards-compliant compilers, Open Source would be nearly helpless to advance on multiple platforms.

    In 1999, gcc saw its first major upgrade for years, as egcs and gcc were merged. This [gnu.org] went along with continued developments to make programmers more productive, such as the Standard Template Library [sgi.com] and new Matrix Template Library [nd.edu] (an awesome project at Notre Dame), to mean we can spend less time doing generic stuff and more time doing application-specific stuff.

    GCC made great advances in 1999, and is deserving of recognition.
  • if we're talking about the biggest improvement in the last year and one which will have the biggest impact on the future of Linux, it has to be the combined Mesa / Utah-Glx 3d hardware support.

    This is what is going to take Linux out of just the server market in universities and companys and into the workstation desktop market (NOT consumer desktop market, that's another thing).

    Thanks to Mesa and Utah-Glx, all kinds of scientific visualisation, cad design, 3d animaton and games can now be done in a robust unix environment without paying out big bucks for an SGI or Sun workstation.

    In the future, Precision Insights DRI will be an important part of this but we really haven't seen it yet so that's one for next years award.

    I vote for a combined award to Mesa / Utah-Glx (split the money and the glory 50/50.
  • If you have tried pre-1.0 series, or even the first 1.0-release, you should know what I'm talking about. October Gnome is a really usable and working desktop environment, and the same can't be said about some of the earlier releases. Also the technical side of the next Gnome release is really interesting. A year ago many people just said that Gnome would never be finished or that it would always be second to some other desktop environment, but the Gnome team has proved that wrong.

  • WINE will drive Linux' acceptance on the desktop in businesses and eventually, homes. It's come a long way - to the point where you can really use it to run commercial (Microsoft!) applications and get useful work done.They deserve the award.
  • If you don't believe that Wine has improved enough to deserve this award you should try a recent release. An amazing number of applications work under Wine.
  • OpenBSD has come a long way from being little more than a NetBSD derivative to the de-facto standard on security issues in operating systems. Furthermore, the project has been expanding into new regions, including OpenSSH.

    Now with security under control, OpenBSD has begun to migrate towards the realm of high-performance under pressure, similar to FreeBSD. Theo de Raadt stated himself that he'd like to work on SMP support in OpenBSD.

    Despite all of these achievements, OpenBSD has remained loyal to its roots and is still portable to virtually any kind of hardware thinkable.

    "If you don't use windows then what do you use?"

  • While other open source projects have advanced incrementally, OpenBSD is the only open source project to date which has gone back and painstakingly examined every line of the already existing code, cleaning up bugs and assiduously eliminating situations in which buffer overflows and other problems even might occur. OpenBSD's recent security audit has gained it universal recognition as the most secure operating system on the planet, bar none.

    If the award were either for the best new project and/or for the one that added the largest number of feeping creatures (er, I mean creeping features), other candidates might be considered. But OpenBSD is the only project which has placed excellence and code correctness above featuritis. Because it has set this example, it is the project most deserving of a "most improved" award.

    --Brett Glass

  • It is great to see so many software projects coming forward and being nominated for this award. Mozilla, KDE, Berlin, Gnome, KDevelop and other projects have all made great leaps and bounds in the last year. It is also great to see projects getting nominated that I (And other users) probably are not aware of.

    I want people to consider more than just nominating their favourite / pet / contributing project however, regardless of their merits. There is, I think, more to consider than which project has been the most successful however. In particular, this award is not just about the money.

    Slashdot has achieved considerable currency in the more mainstream media over the last year's time. As a result, the open source awards (The Beanie's) that Slashdot gives, are going to achieve considerable recognition beyond that of a cash prize. You need to consider both when you nominate and when you vote, what it is that you want to the successful candidate, and the open source project as a whole to achieve by these awards.

    By the most improved open source project, I feel we can represent a project that does something that open source is not recognised as having strengths in, be it e-commerce, desktop or games development. Furthermore, consider contributing the money to a project that does not have a clear sponser. I am not saying ignore the Mozilla's of this world, because web browsing is also a weakness of the open source, but try to vote for something that will achieve the best benefit for the open source community as a whole.

  • I nominated Sawmill [sourceforge.net], and then stopped to think a little longer and realized how much GnuPG [gnupg.org] has improved lately. Especially for those interested in using open-source cryptography that's easy to set up and use.

    I haven't followed the development very closely, but I think it's tough for even the mildest crypto-geeks to avoid noticing how so many folks have given up their old PGP keys and switched to GPG in the last year. This is a Good Thing [marthastewart.com], in my opinion. PGP was confusing. There seemed to be several concurrent versions being released at the same time, and you couldn't use some of them if you were outside the USA, couldn't use some of them if you were inside the USA, and some of them just didn't work. Finally, GnuPG stepped forward and started clearing the path, and now I'm using Mailcrypt [nb.net] with VM [wonderworks.com] again! GnuPG kicks some serious ass!

  • A financial incentive for programmers to botch version 1.0!?!? Wouldn't it make more sense to give an award for software that DIDN'T NEED the most improving?
  • I think Netsaint [netsaint.org] deserves at least a nomination. It's an excellent network-monitoring tool that is very rapidly adding features and fixing bugs. I've been using it for months and have been very happy both with where it is and where it's going. Check it out.
  • Really difficult. For me as a programmer it's KDevelop, but what about KDE, Gnome, OpenLDAP, UnixODBC, and all the other important projects? Maybe Andover could divide the prize between the first three or five nominees?
  • I think the Allegro project (founded by Shawn Hargreaves) deserves the award for improved opensource project. For anybody who doesn't know, Allegro is an awesome cross-platform game library. Personally, I've used Allegro for projects at work, because of the portability, not just games. Programs written with Allegro will compile and run under Linux (svgalib, framebuffer, or X11), Windows, DOS, or BeOS.

    You should check it out [demon.co.uk] for yourself.

  • definitly Debian. Although they need to completly redo their release process (The new pooling idea being thrown around sound nice), they have made my life as a Linux user fun and enjoyable (more than it would have been w/o Debian anyways :)).
  • SVGAlib -- This essential graphics library went from being rather user-unfriendly to having a website, a mailing list, a message board and, most importantly, beaucoup documentation, especially on the programming front. Examples are now readily available, and the current maintainer (Matan Ziv-Av [mailto]) makes sure that all questions are answered in a timely basis.

    This is a vast improvement over the prior state of affairs, where installation and programming assistance were hard to come by.

    There have been three new library upgrades in the past 12 months, which is perhaps a record for SVGAlib.

    While SVGAlib might not be as useful to the world as gcc, the topic here is *most improved*, and SVGAlib certainly qualifies.

    www.svgalib.org [svgalib.org]

  • Greg Newby is my hero. He got me started in programming Perl & C, and helped introduce me to the 'Net via PrairieNet in Champaign, Illinois.

    However, I don't think gcc is the *most improved* project, as it was already rock-solid. The best, perhaps, but not the most improved.


  • Just the improvement in G++ templates is enough to get my vote (yep you can use STL now).
  • ...may I present, for your enlightenment, a link to founder Jeremie Miller's year-end status report for 1999 [jabber.org], describing the current state of Jabber development.

    Disclaimer: I work for Webb Interactive [webb.net] (the company that now employs Jeremie), on Jabber-related software.

    "Free your code...and the rest will follow."

  • Jabber has come from a simplistic server to a full fledged messaging system, with support for loadable modules on ALL sides. Anyone following the project will know that 1.0, with several commercial companies kicking in support, is due this month.

  • As much as I like mozilla, I think the "back from the grave" thing is more of a perception issue than reality. I've been following it all along, and it seems to have made slow but steady and perceptible progress since the beginning.


  • I'm voting for Mozilla with this one, but if they win I'd like to ensure that the money is spent on the Mozilla project and doesn't just go on inflating the coffers of Time Warner/AOL which own Netscape.

    I think Mozilla deserve the award because although it looked like to many that the project was dying and JWZ left the project, Mozilla continued to make tremendous progress and is becoming more usable each day. I'm now using Mozilla for 80% of my browsing under Linux (and on the few times I use Windows I use Mozilla exclusively[1] as stability is currently slightly better at the moment on the Win32 versions).
    Many companies were watching Netscape's experiment with Mozilla to decide whether or not they should go open source. An excellent browser which is nearly ready now will help convince many companies once it's released as stable. An award for this project will be another example of why open source works.

    As for the IE fans out there, a successful Mozilla will force Microsoft to produce a better browser (if Netscape had died at version 3 you wouldn't expect a browser anywhere near the quality of IE 5 as they wouldn't have had the incentive)
  • Ah, I remember the initial announcement, and I just looked at the site; impressive, indeed! I'm going to install it ASAP to try it out.
  • If you haven't tried M12 or later... Mozilla will be very nice....

  • Actually it is the GNU C++ compiler that is most improved; it is now dramatically better than it was in 1998.

    Linus's warnings against egcs were not because of egcs bugs, but rather because of Linux bugs (the 2.0.x kernel doesn't do constraints on assembly language instructions properly, so when the optimizer was improved it broke code).

  • A shameless plug here for my nomination.

    1) It's gone from a "wouldn't it be nice" status to quite usable, though not ready for mom just yet (one still has to tweak the software by hand).

    2) The project is of great importance to Linux as a desktop os, as DVD playability is becoming more and more a requirement by end users

    3) The project is under more or less continuous legal attack by the DVD Forum, and could use the money to help in legal defenses and challenges to the Consortiums heavy-handed tactics.
  • I disagree.

    "Most improved" != "Most man hours worked on"


    "Most improved" != "Earliest started project" or "Most Calendar Months requried to Develop"

    The improvements in DVD, going from virtually non-existent to almost fully functional in a phenominally short amount of time are IMHO greater than the improvements of Mozilla (though also significant) during the past year

    Both are much improved products and worthy of nominations, but I disagree with your logic that the one deserves more attention simply because it was started sooner, and/or has required more man-hours to get to where it is, while the other project has had less time in which to achieve its successes. If anything, the speed with which Linux DVD has made its improvements ought to swing the verdict the other way.

    I wish both projects great success, but do not think Mozilla is as worthy as Livid is of "Most Improved Open Source Project" -- there are several other candidates in addition to Livid I would personally rank higher at this time.
  • by listen ( 20464 )
    Its hard to choose - but most of the other things I liked had already had a subject line devoted to them. zope should definitely be on the nominations list.

    go to www.zope.org to see what the fuss is about.
  • The European Molecular Biology Open Software Suite should get an award of some kind here.

    • Usable and used now by tens of thousands of scientists worldwide which is a great advance on last year
    • Really nice design for the interface allowing it to be easily merged with any frontend you wish for easy incorporation into GUI apps, workflow schemes etc.
    • Open source by design, and updated every night
    • An extra man year of funding would make a massive difference and you'll also be contributing to basic scientific research.
    • Developed by Genome researchers for scientists worldwide

    Visit the EMBOSS home page [sanger.ac.uk] for more details. ..d

  • by Gosub ( 3011 ) on Monday January 03, 2000 @11:11AM (#1412156) Homepage
    First off, I'm biased too, since I'm also a developer for the project.

    I just wanted to add that if you look out our initial Slashdot announcement [slashdot.org], you will note our progress.

    That announcement of the project was made prematurely and without the consent of the rest of the project members (not that I fault Joe Jenkis at all! He was just a bit too enthusiastic!), and we were lambasted by people saying "They don't even have any code!" and "They'll be gone in a few months!". This backlash was warranted by the lack of information on our fledgling website, but look at us now.

    Further, we have created a large amount of OpenContent media that is freely modifiable and distributable. I personally think that if our project were to fail tomorrow, that in itself has been enough to justify my 13 months of involvement in the project. I simply cannot praise the artists of WorldForge enough.

    If we are talking about Most Improved, I think WorldForge deserves a mention at least.
  • by periscope ( 20296 ) on Monday January 03, 2000 @06:13AM (#1412157) Homepage
    I think that the money should go to the wonderful guys working on the Livid project.

    Since September/October 1999, thanks to them, I have been able to watch DVDs on my Linux box. I can now watch almost all of the Matrix on my OS of choice and it is thanks to those wonderful people. If they had $30K, just think what they could do!

    They would have enough money to buy in to the DVD specs, they may have to relase some partially clsed source code in the form of codecs (like xanim does with its codecs - still keeping everything else free/open/whatever-you-call-it).

    It's not an ideal situation to release closed code, but it would allow an absolute top notch job to be done on the Linux DVD front and would give them enough funds to continue to have access to future changes to the DVD specification - changes which may make it much more difficult to view DVDs otherwise (the DVD CCA may use crap copyright protection, but that doesn't mean that the Motion Picture Industry in America won't bring in something much stronger that can't be broken so easily).

    How many of you are still keeping a windows box around simply to watch DVDs (I don't BTW)? How many of you would finally be able to say good riddence to Microsoft if Linux DVD were as "good" as it is on certain other platforms?

    Before _you_ vote, head on over to http://www.linuxvideo.org and check out the great work being done there.

    Remember, open sourced, free software is the future, but we still live in a capitalist world which is driven by money.

    This would give some great blokes a fighting chance at top quality support for DVD on Linux, without the user requiring a dual PII 500 to run the software (windows boxes running licensed code from the DVD forum need a much lower spec).

    Just something for you to all think about before you vote.

  • by Sam Jooky ( 54205 ) on Monday January 03, 2000 @05:24AM (#1412158)
    The Worldforge project (http://www.worldforge.org [worldforge.org]) has come a LONG way since its inception over a year ago. And though it's not done, it's definitely on track to create an OpenSource MMRPG system for Linux. Sam Jooky
  • by sdt ( 7606 ) on Monday January 03, 2000 @07:40AM (#1412159) Homepage

    My choice is biased, of course, since I'm a developer at the WorldForge project, but I must say there has been amazing progress at WorldForge in the last year.

    In only about 13 months, we have gone from nothing to 25 megabytes of code in CVS, 23 megabytes of media, an amazing amount of information on the website [worldforge.org], many very productive and friendly members, several hundred people on the mailing lists and a very warm-hearted community. I have never seen an online project that smells so much of success as this one does.

    For those who don't know about WorldForge, it's an effort to create a Massively Multiplayer Online RPG (similar to titles such as Everquest and Ultima Online) system, that will allow world developers full customisability and clients that can connect to any server through a single protocol (Atlas). We even have support for multiple client types - 3D, 2D isometric, even text - of which we already have several functioning implementations. We have many talented graphics artists (both 2D and 3D) and many, many coders from various locations of the world. All code is covered by the GPL (or LGPL if it proves more appropriate for libraries) and content (graphics, music, text, ...) is covered by the OPL [opencontent.org]. On September 13 1999 we released our first public client/server demonstration, the Skeleton demo, featuring a server that supports collision detection, visibility and hearing limitations, in-world chat and movement, and an isometric client with very nice graphics :).

    Trying to be as objective as possible, I think WorldForge deserves it. Take a look at what's on our website or drop by at irc.worldforge.org and you'll see how far this project has advanced in only one year.

"The following is not for the weak of heart or Fundamentalists." -- Dave Barry