Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
GNU is Not Unix

FSF Seeks Nominations for 2nd Free Software Award 110

Andy Tai writes "From the GNU website, the Free Software Foundation is asking for nominations for the 1999 Free Software Award. Nominations are due October 8. Richard Stallman, Linus Torvalds and Larry Wall are not eligible since they have been already awarded. More information can be found on this page. "
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

FSF Seeks Nominations for 2nd Free Software Award

Comments Filter:
  • As much as I like Apache, I doubt their license [apache.org] will be acceptable as "free software" by FSF's definition. 'Tis really a shame, though...
  • My nominations are:
    Brian Paul for the excellent crossplatform OpenGL compatible graphics library MESA [mesa3d.org]. It provides a real alternative to commercial OpenGL and gives Linux a competitive 3D language.

    The Olivetti Research Laboratory (now at AT&T UK) for a program I use every day - VNC [att.com]. This program is used for remote control much like PC Anywhere or even X-Windows and it runs on Unix and Windows. Clients for Unix, Win, Mac and Java.
  • It would qualify as free software, but the advertising clause would probably rule it out.
  • I forgot to mention the most important thing.. both Mesa and VNC are distributed under the GPL. These are two great gifts to us all, so please mail award-nominations@gnu.org and put in your vote like I did! :)
  • The OSS community would *never* have gotten to the point it has without the advent of the WWW

    I disagree. The most important medium was and is e-mail. Then add ftp servers. For a time the combination e-mail/Usenet was very helpful, while today most development coordination retreated to mailing lists.

    Take the GNU project for instance, their WWW site is relatively new compared to their other infrastructure, and most important software (gcc, emacs and the likes) was developed before the WWW became popular. Not to mention the BSD software that was spread on tapes.

    The WWW is a very useful media, but e-mail, ftp servers and probably CVS are still more important IMHO.

  • How about the authors of something that has truly made a difference, and for a long time at that: The Apache Team.

    Yes, it would raise the reputation of that price considerably, if they would give it to a deserving recipient of the license-rivaling free software camps, like xfree86.org, Apache team, the BSD folks and maybe one day Mozilla.org.

    If RMS feels left out by the Linux community in certain aspects, he should not make the mistake to leave out the other fighters for the common goal!

  • I wrote a letter of nomination for Alan before I read this discussion. Enclosed forthwith.

    I hereby nominate Alan Cox for the 1999 Free Software Award

    Alan Cox is perhaps Linus Torvalds's chief lieutenant. I think Alan
    should be recognized, however, for a very specific task that he has
    willingly taken on: maintenance of old stable releases of the Linux
    kernel. This is not a glamorous task, but is one that is essential to
    counter the impression that free software lacks support.

    Alan has taken it upon himself to maintain the 2.0 and 2.2 Linux
    kernels while others forge ahead with the more exciting work of
    designing new features for the development kernels. While the
    stability of Linux 2.0 is legendary, bugs are occasionally discovered,
    new devices become available, and security holes are found. In order
    to be accepted for mission critical applications, old versions of
    software must be supported, with critical items such as these fixed.
    Responsible software vendors have always provided such support, and
    Alan's work has made it possible for free software to be held to such
    exacting standards.

    In addition to this key responsibility, Alan is also a major
    contributor to the development kernel, and particularly concerns
    himself with low level kernel functionality and devices, which are
    notoriously complex yet essential pieces of functionality.

    Finally, Alan ceaselessly promotes free software in all forums in
    which he participates.

    For these reasons, I believe that Alan Cox would be a deserving
    recipient of the 1999 Free Software Award.
  • therefore I nominate Eric Allman.

    I took a class (on Sendmail, natch) at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention, and his was the best of the bunch I went to.

    Beyond that, his is one of the earliest, and most interesting approaches to integrating open source development and commercial distribution methods.


    I mean, who HASN'T hade some piece of their email delivered through sendmail?

  • no individuals but i think the apache group as a whole have done a great deal for opensource. not just the core group but also the modphp, modssl & modperl guys too. Apache is probably the second most visible thing after GNU/Linux and I use their software everyday. Way to go guys

    Cant think of anyone who deserves it more (except maybe the *bsd guys)
  • especially the guy that did mod_rewrite & mod_ssl
  • I don't quite undeestand this.. so, you're telling me that if an organization, say the "wine tasting society of South Uzbekistan", comes out and gives and award to Alan Cox for his contribution to the Open Source community, from then on he will not be able to receive other awards from other bodies concerning the same topic? Or am I missing something here?

    Nick Moraitakis

  • I whole-heartedly agree - Email, FTP, and CVS are what allow us to collaborate, but my point was that to get where were are today, the Internet needed to become popular. If there wasn't a WWW there wouldn't be nearly as many people on the Internet as home/business access would really be out of the question on a large scale. All that would be left is universities, and while that is a large chunk of many development teams, it's just won't cut the cheese for the kind of heavy development that goes on now.

    Anyway, I don't this TBL should be nominated, I was just making a point

  • No. Qt 2.0 is Free Software. Ask RMS.

    And KDE has always been Free.

    Interested in XFMail? New XFMail home page [slappy.org]

  • Qt 2.0 is Free Software; RMS and ESR agree on this.

    KDE has always been Free Software.

    I realize you're just trolling, and you're probably a paid astroturfer, but still, others might be reading who actually believe the garbage you're spouting.

    Interested in XFMail? New XFMail home page [slappy.org]

  • Although many in the BSD crowd earn my disdain, I have nothing but respect for Hubbard. An award to Hubbard from the FSF would be a great symbolic gesture.
  • There are so many people who deserve this.

    Ulrich Drepper (or maybe Cygnus) - glibc maintainer
    H.J. Lu - Binary utilities and other stuff
    Alan Cox - kernel coder
    Andreas Zeller - DDD
    Who ever wrote cvs is worth a price.
  • I believe Larry Wall won the award for 1998 (that's why he's not eligible).

  • "Why not actaully give an award to the people who actually DID make this happen for once instaead of just some figure head."

    The people who win this award are hardly just figureheads (well, unless you really don't like gcc, gdb, GNU Emacs, the Linux kernel, and Perl all that much and think we could do without them.. perhaps even better off that way!) in our community, they are also a very lively part of it! So far, the people who have won have made this happen in a /very/ real way.

    Without Richard Stallman this wouldn't have started in the first place, without Linux Torvalds we wouldn't have had a complete OS just yet, and without Larry Wall.. it wouldn't be nearly as fun to code, damnit (he made patching easier during the process, too)! What's not to love?

    "If it weren't for their hard work (much of it in their free time), and their blatant fanatacism about creating things that work and are free then there would be no open source / free software movement."

    I'm not sure who this describes best other than Richard Stallman, so what do you mean "for once"? :)

  • You are Gerald Holmes [freeyellow.com] and I claim my copy of space cadet (not free but worth the money!)
  • For TeX, which was created at a time when open source was unheard of and giving software away for free quite unusual. He spent ten years on it (and quite a number of $2.56 cheques ;-)) and delivered a high-quality product running on about any platform. TeX and additional software are used all over the world.
  • Hmm, isn't KDE based on the non-free QT libraries, which are in turn QPL'd? (Whatever that means) I don't know if KDE would qualify as free software...
    Not to worry KDE has always been free software, and the latest version of KDE is based on a free (in FSF sense of the word) version of QT.

    I too agree that Matthias deserves to win this award, I know I voted for him!
  • Like letting RMS and friends develop it, then telling them to P*** off. (See the RMS talk in Stockholm)
  • The funniest thing that I heard yesterday at the Amarillo LUG Conference was the thought that RMS tends to behave himself better at conferences when he considers that he has been "Honored."

    A vendor (who shall remain nameless!) suggested that he'd be game to help sponsor some "RMS Award" at every Linux conference if this would result in him behaving a bit better. It appeared that there was sufficient support that they could put together enough to:

    • Double the FSF's annual budget, by
    • Having on the order of $25K for each of the "national" conferences/conventions...

    ... And it was entertaining how many at Amarillo weren't familiar with the term "Solipsist."

  • Moderating anything up in this discussion just because you think someone deserves the award is rather pointless.

    That's not entirely true.

    If someone is sitting at their terminal, going, "Hmmm... who could I nominate?", then a constructive thread on Slashdot may well plant an idea. For example, Donald Knuth never occured to me, but I think I like the idea.

    You could also use Slashdot to "lobby" for your favorite "canidate", similar to a political rally. And in the sense of trying to show support for someone you think has made an honest contribution, I think that works, too.

    Now, trying to manipulate Slashdot comments to affect the outcome of anything outside of Slashdot comments is rather pointless on the whole.... :-)
  • I think the Debian folks should be recognized. But then, I'm prejudiced.


  • I don't trust him. He's often a Micros~1 advocate.

  • Do you realize that nobody really cares? Aside from bragging rights, it just doesn't matter. What is important is that Samba can be run on a reliable, easily administered platform.
  • you realise samba has never outperformed NT except in imaginary tests.
  • *cough* http://www.gnu.org/server/ [gnu.org] *hack*

  • Hey, maybe the slashdot crew should be nominated.... after all, they're about the most crucial part of the linux news world... and as everyone knows, news is important. Usually. ;-)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    FreeBSD's Jordan K. Hubbard
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I wrote a Hello World app once and I will freely distribute the source code.
  • I'll second that
    char *stupidsig = "this is my dumb sig";
  • Does the award include a grant of $$ or is it just so that the winners can say "I won this award."
  • by osmanb ( 23242 ) on Sunday September 19, 1999 @02:44AM (#1674365)
    People are quick to point out the "current" or "latest" cool free software projects. How about the authors of something that has truly made a difference, and for a long time at that: The Apache Team.

    Apache is clearly one of the cornerstones of Linux WorldDomination(TM)... it would be nice to recognize those responsible. (Of course, I'm not actually familiar with the development team, including how large the "core" is.)

  • ...Miguel de Icaza. He seems to be a great leader, coder, and not to mention a really nice person.


    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein
  • This would be a nice memorial.
  • by Booker ( 6173 )
    Miguel (and whatever infinite energy source he runs on) have made HUGE contributions to free software, moving Gnome from a new idea to a significant desktop environment in an amazingly short time. I know that many people have contributed to Gnome, but Miguel is The Man. :)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Look at all that ESR has accomplished this year with Apple, and various others. Vote ESR! And if not, vote for Jordan (FreeBSD guy)
  • by Lucius Lucanius ( 61758 ) on Sunday September 19, 1999 @02:51AM (#1674371)
    There are various reasons why:

    1) The AC is truly distributed and open, unlike others who are closed, proprietary entities. The AC exists as a conceptual entity, much like Free Software. Not only is the AC similar to free speech, but he dishes out vast volumes of it. (Some would say too vast).

    2) The AC has stimulated various debates on various issues. Often with dumbass comments, the AC stirs up high emotions and profound criticism.

    3) The AC always gets the first post. This is a dubious achievement at best, but he takes innocent pride in it like a happy little kid.

    4) The AC has often submitted critical insider info from the CIA, Microsoft, IBM, and many organizations; he has gone where lesser mortals feared to tread.

    5) The AC is unique - he is loved in the abstract, yet hated at almost every appearance he makes. In fact, this is the reason why he is the AC.

    6) The AC has become a part of the OSS psyche; in the press there are frequent references to him. Almost like Superman or Batman, people speak of the AC as some kind of superhero (or supervillian) whose identity is unknown....This introduces an element of comic book intrigue and suspense into an otherwise dull and boring profession.

    7) Everybody has been an AC, they just won't admit it. Thus by rewarding the AC, you reward the whole community.

    8) The AC exists in multiple places at the same time, thereby providing redundant backup and stable, 24x7 service.

    9) The AC is intellectually complex. He is international, posting in strange languages nobody can understand. He is mysterious and abstruse in his thoughts, which may contain hidden truths masked in the form of annoying spam like troll.

    10) It's difficult to draw out the AC. He has never been seen, but if he wins the award, he may appear to accept it....We can finally unmask him and see what he looks like...

  • yeah. i'll second this one. If i had any moderator points left i prolly would have marked it up too. He's set the standard for document formatting and its installed on virtually every unix system.
  • Dont get me wrong, these people have done an incredible job, and without their big ideas on how to make things work Free Software would not be anywhere near where it would be today. I am a huge fan of ESR (I am NOT a member of the secret Eric Conspiracy group ;) ), I am only starting on reading about RMS, I am using Perl more and more, I am on the emacs side of the fence (even use it for winders), I think that gcc/g++ are the most convenient and complete compilers ever made (even if they are a little slow)....I think that you get the point..
    However I just wanted to give credit to the people who have taken these big ideas from the big people and expanded upon them and really pushed the meaning of FREE/OPEN Software. It is the open source community...that was where I wanted to put the emphasis, not on taking credit away from the people you mentioned (and others).
    ---------------------------------------- ----
  • Yes. My mention of Matthias is not in any way a slight of the GNOME people. They are doing good things, too.

    Interested in XFMail? New XFMail home page [slappy.org]
  • Yes. That's correct. LyX, and then KLyX.

    Interested in XFMail? New XFMail home page [slappy.org]
  • Strange nobody wrote this before. It seems rather obvious to me.

    Well, maybe we'll wait till next year, and give this year's award to Eric S. Raymond, but after that, the Slashdot founders are likely to get it...

    Besides, maybe the year after we'll have to give it to the KDE team, for by that time KDevelop will be the No 1 IDE and KOffice will ship more copies than MSOffice and Staroffice together; but in 2001, you can be sure our lovely friends will be the happy winners...

    Oh, I forgot Alan Cox... And Marc Ewing too.. and BSD's Hubbard.. And Gnome's de Icaza.. And the guys of Apache... And Phil Zimmermann.. And Donald Knuth (if still alive)... and...

    Oh, well, they're young after all, let's hope they'll get the prize before they're too old to type on a keyboard...

    Happy /.ing to all.
  • A while back someone said something about Linus Torvalds having gone on record as saying "GNU/Linux" was the official name.. If anyone actually knows of an online resource which proves that, please email me. I've yet to see an interview with Torvalds that even /mentioned/ GNU. :)

    So as to not /totally/ escape the topic, however.. Obviously with all the code these guys have churned out, they aren't just "idea men". The reason why they aren't eligible to win anymore is so that other people can be recognized, which is good because I of course agree that others should get some credit too. I think all the real "heavy hitters" will get the award over the next few years, so it will all balance out.

  • I've never posted before because there's rarely anything I can add, but in this case the Slashdot community has made a glaring ommission.


    groff, sgmls, technical lead for WWWC XML.

    This guy has done an amazing amount of the heavy lifting.

    Cheers -- hba

    Only entropy comes easy.
    -Lewis Mumford
  • Moderating anything up in this discussion just because you think someone deserves the award is rather pointless. We don't decide who should get the award based on who got enough points on Slashdot.

    Instead, what you want to do is to send your award nomination to <award-nominations@gnu.org> [mailto] with the name of the person you're nominating in the subject and a short explanation as to why you think that person should get the award in the body.

  • That's so AC of you...

    You don't need to spend $1550 to use KDE in a commercial environment, do you? No, of course not. If fact, since KDE was built using the free version of QT, it would be illegal to release it under the non-free version commercially. Obviously, if KDE was released under the Professional version, it would not qualify -- But it wasn't, so that doesn't even come into play

    QT is not GPL, so you're right - the people at Troll shouldn't be eligible. But KDE *is* GPL (since everything written under the Free Version of QT has to be), so I don't see why it should be excluded.

  • That's kind of interesting. The OSS community would *never* have gotten to the point it has without the advent of the WWW. Certainly the internet is what allows us to communicate and coordinate so well, but without the WWW on top of that, there wouldn't be nearly as many of us on this crazy thing. Of course, if we're going to trace back to people who made it all possible, we might as well give the award to Charles Babbage or Alan Turing or someone like that. Oh well, my nomination goes to Alan Cox.
  • I nominated Brian Paul as well. His efforts have matched, pixel for pixel, the efforts of hardware companies with huge resources, and he does it out of the goodness of his heart.

    In this year, his efforts have been rewarded by people finally coming around. SGI's support of accelerated Mesa for Linux is a true boon. It means that all Linux boardsets will probably support OpenGL completely transparently. If Brian Paul hadn't done Mesa, it'd be a horrible mishmash.


  • wow. I am even agreeing with Ben Tilly on something... Miracles do happen. :)

    Steve Ruyle
  • Andrew Tridgell should be nominated, whether or not Samba outperforms Windows of any flavour. Samaba is one of those things that SOMEONE would eventually do but he did it first. Everyone uses it, it comes packaged with just about any form of Unix you can get ahold of, Sun even uses it with Solaris. What if he AHDN'T decided to hack M$'s SMB protocols? Someone would have done it but it probably would have been Novell or Sun or some other M$ competitor which wouldnt have released it to the public and that wouldn't do anyone any good and would probably mean M$ could really institute their all-M$ offices and computer labs, since only M$ products could communicate with M$ products, you'd have to use their products.
  • Not quite imaginary: you might want to check this article [zdnet.com]
  • by smithdog ( 3152 ) on Sunday September 19, 1999 @03:06AM (#1674397)
    By dominating the pre-installed / OEM software market with low-quality proprietary software, Bill Gates has created an environment where Free Software can flourish. Keep up the innovation Mr Gates. Cheers, smithdog
  • I put Matthias at the top of my list because at a time when CDE was the pinnacle of UNIX GUIs, he saw the need for a real UNIX desktop environment, and started the long process toward the very usable KDE that we have today. His work and foresight is making acceptance of Linux and Free/Open/Net BSD on the desktop possible.

    Interested in XFMail? New XFMail home page [slappy.org]
  • From the GNU web site:

    ``Free software'' refers to the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it refers to four kinds of
    freedom, for the users of the software:

    The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
    The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1).
    The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
    The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits. (freedom 3).

    So FreeBSD is perfectly Free according to their definition and Jordan IS illigible. Furthermore the software dosen't have to be under the GPL (perl isn't and Larry won).
  • I think Raster should be nominated, as if it wheren't for him, FreeBSD and GNU/Linux would look so damned attractive to people who can't deal with Tcsh, and M$ would have a greater market share, not to mention that it is the first fully gnome-compliant window manager, and Gnome stole a bunch of morons from MS for RH... not like i care..I use Fvwm 2.2.2 and a bunch of X terms
  • That foobar guy i see mentioned everwhere should get the award.....he must have contributed tons of software :)
  • I have to agree. I don't know their names offhand, but when I saw the announcement, the first thing through my mind was "The Apache Team". Can we nominate a team?


  • I agree that FreeBSD should be eligible even though it's not licensed under the GPL. Your observation that perl isn't licensed under the GPL is not quite correct, since perl has (or at least had, I haven't checked recently) a dual-license scheme, both Artistic and GPL. That said, I still think Jordan would make a superb nomination.
  • But how about Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie or Brian Kernighan?

    Without their contributions of Unix and C, free software may never have come about.

  • I agree with other people that GNU should also look at BSD contributers (as their code has always complied with the definition and philosophy outlined). However, I personally don't know how much someoe like Jordon K. Hubbard contributed, except I know he's done a huge amount of work.

    The only BSD person I can know who has done a huge amount of work (that I can point a finger at) is Theo de Raadt, the founder of OpenBSD, a main financial contributer, and major coder. OpenBSD is widely considered the most secure operating system both Linux and other BSDs have incorperated their code. That's the point of free software, to share and improve the community.

    In any case, someone who knows more please reply and list whose done a lot of work (and how) in BSD. GNU shouldn't neglect BSD because of a conflicting licsense, or that Linux is in the media blitz right now.
  • Absolutely! I don't use KDE so much these days, because of slow processors and small monitors on both my Linux boxes but it was crucial in getting me through the days of total cluelessness when I first started. I've been playing with Kdevelop lately and am as impressed as I had expected I would be. I can't wait for KOffice.

  • Agreed, and:

    Steve Kirkendall -- I feed my family by typing, and elvis is my editor.
    Russell Nelson -- You'd have to have lived through the dark days of DOS and sneaker-net to really appreciate his work.
  • Face facts, one of the biggest way that Linux sneaks in the back door is because of Samba. Once it is there it grows, but Samba in many cases is the necessary first step without which Linux either would not be considered, or would have been thrown out because it could not integrate itself in the existing environment..

    I therefore think that Andrew Tridgell deserves this award (and more pizza).

    Ben Tilly
  • I wrote a Hello World app once and I will freely distribute the source code.

    Would that be GNU "hello" [mit.edu]?

  • I agree with you 100% - KDE is an extremely important project, and a significant factor in the acceptance of using operating systems like xBSD and Linux by average desktop users.

    Oh, and before I'm flamed/moderated down:

    I hope this doesn't degenerate to a KDE vs Gnome flamefest, but IMHO, KDE has been more important to OSS until now. It's KDE that is bundled as a desktop environment by default w/ SuSE Linux, Caldera OpenLinux, Mandrake, and probably others.

    I like (and use) gnome, but it's too fidly right now for Joe Average, and not as usable as KDE. Hopefully that will change soon, and even non technical users will have a real choice.


  • Let's not forget all this bitchin OSS has to have hardware to run on. These are two companies that seem to be committed to the idea of open HARDWARE as well, and that cannot be overlooked.
  • Alfredo Komjima who has blessed us with Window Maker.
  • Personnally, I put Guido van Rossum on the top of my nomination list for the stuff he made with Python: creating an easy, flexible and powerful language, fully extensible and integrable with current existing C code. I also vote for him because of his implication in the learning of programming for masses. I think it's a key-issue for a durable success of the Open Source model.

    But I can't forget the work done by Eric S. Raymond in domains like sociology and economics of Open Source, which were still underknown before he popularized these.

    [sorry for my english, it's not my mother tongue]
  • I don't know about you, but I only see maybe 15 -20 names on this page, and afterall it is the people of the open source community that have made it the success that it is. If it weren't for their hard work (much of it in their free time), and their blatant fanatacism about creating things that work and are free then there would be no open source / free software movement. I think that it is funny when a big star wins an award and they say "I'd like to thank all the people who made this happen..." Why not actaully give an award to the people who actually DID make this happen for once instaead of just some figure head. That's my $2*(10^-2) worth.
    ------------------------------------------ --

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington