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2nd Annual Free Software Foundation Awards 140

Jacob Javits Convention Center, Manhattan,NY Tonight the Free Software Foundation gave out its Second Annual Award for the Advancement of Free Software. The nominees were introduced by our own CmdrTaco, fetchingly clad in a light blue plaid shirt. The awards themseleves were presentd by Richard M. Stallman, who wore a wonderfully fuzzy, warm-looking red, white, grey, and blue sweater. (More below)

The awards were given out in conjunction with theBazar, a gathering of Open Source experts, boosters, and devotees featuring a number of tutorials on assorted Open Source and GNU/Linux-related topics.

Last year's Award for the Advancement of Free Software went to PERL-meister Larry Wall. This year the three finalists were Donald Knuth, John Gilmore, and Miguel de Icaza.

And the winner was (drum roll please) Miguel de Icaza!

Miguel lent the proceedings a moment of extra drama by arriving - literally - at the second his name was announced, right after RMS said he was not there and could not, therefore, be expected to make a speech. But there he was, and the speech was both brief and charming.

A surprise award was also given to Blockstackers, which has donated a significant amount of money to the Free Software Foundation. This award was accepted by a shocked - and literally blushing - Rob Malda.

We join the Free Software Foundation in congratulating Miguel de Icaza.

See pictures of the award ceromony and participants here.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

2nd Annual Free Software Foundation Awards

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  • NT.

    i dont display scores, and my threshhold is -1. post accordingly.
  • congratulations Rob

    welll done
  • by Foogle ( 35117 )
    It's not that it bothers me, and I'm glad Blockstackers got the recognition... But why was Rob doing announcements for the FSF?


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • by wharfrat ( 90464 )
    Yep no pictures for now... but I suspect Rob is reading this, as the off topic post in ALL-CAPS just dissapeared :)
  • Didn't you see the Note? Wait a Fscking hour!

  • Everyone who has given a hand to an open source project deserves a great big pat on the back!

    All contributions are worthwhile, be they documentation, bug fixes, new projects/features, or purely financial. Don't forget it is a team effort.

  • The First Post didnt dissapear, it just got moderated down to -1 Troll
    Mark Duell
  • Congratulations to Miguel de Icaza!

    Being almost a die-hard command-prompt (bash, et. al.) user, though, I can think of many other people that also deserve such awards. I wonder if we can get ZD (almost certainly MSNBC wouldn't cover the Tux Awards!) to do a 3 hour awards show that runs at least 45 minutes over?

    Next time I run X, I guess I'll take a peek at Gnome to see what the fuss is all about.
  • by jsewell ( 86485 ) on Tuesday December 14, 1999 @01:54PM (#1464732)
    First, the story clearly stated that the pics might not be available for up to an hour, so have some patience, cowboy. Second, don't you know how to hack a URL? The correct location is probably going to be something like [] - It looks like maybe Roblimo got a bit confused in the cut and paste or else the URL got interpereted as a relative rather than absolute URL.

    Anyhow, until the Bazaar pics are up, you can still waste your time looking at the fun pics from the /. trek to Comdex last month or whenever that was... The URL for that is []
  • Yes, it is expected behavior. It says so on the preferences page.
  • No really, great.

    I'm glad that the FSF is getting recognition.


    As an NYC resident, I wish I'd known even 24hrs sooner, so I could actually go to the event.

  • by the_tsi ( 19767 ) on Tuesday December 14, 1999 @02:01PM (#1464737)
    I recognize that Gnome is an important step for linux (err.. unices in general) to move towards the desktop, but it certainly isn't ``core functionality'' that I need my computers to do. I mean, there are parallel technologies which allow similar things.

    TeX on the other hand, has been around for a long time and is used non-stop in the lab where I work. Without it, the reports we dump out would probably take forever to make. I can't imagine using Word (or any word processor for that matter) to create documents that change as much in revision as ours do. TeX is a much more earth-shattering development than a spiffy new interface to X.

    I think the FSF awards copped out and picked based on ``current and trendy'' instead of deserving of an award. Of course, if there is a monetary award involved (since there's no article, I can't tell, but I imagine there is), then I can see the politics behind it. Gnome sure needs cash more than any TeX-related project.

    Congrats to the nominees and the winner.

  • by Kaufmann ( 16976 ) < ... br minus painter> on Tuesday December 14, 1999 @02:03PM (#1464738) Homepage
    Not to belittle Miguel - his work on bringing free software to the masses is very commendable, and Gnome is in and of itself living proof that you can actually build relatively good software using languages from New Jersey (*rimshot*) - but he just doesn't stand up to Knuth. I mean, the guy's a shining beacon of excellence in computer science. Miguel himself probably learned a lot of programming skills from Knuth's books. If anyone deserves a big fat award, it's old Don at Palo Alto. The only perspective from which I can conceive of Miguel as being more award-worthy than Knuth is the "making free software user-friendly" idea. (That is, as user-friendly as an Un*x gets. *rimshot*)

    So I hope that Knuth gets what he deserves next time. (It wouldn't hurt to give him a couple of VA shares either.)
  • I'm proud to say that I voted for Miguel and very I'm pleased to see him win. He's done so much and really deserves the award. He seems to have that "benevolent dictator" aire about him that Linus exhibits. I think he's another excellent leader/coder. Keep up the good work Miguel.


    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein
  • I'm really shocked that Kunth didn't get the award. Certainly Miguel deserves to be recognised for his efforts, but I'm inclined to take a Nobel-esque approach and say the FSF should've granted the award to him a couple of years from now after his work is solidly established as valuable. (granted, as a math student, I should probably be looking at the Fields-esque approach that no one over 40 get the award) I'd say first voice of dissent, but I'm sure another one has popped up since I started writing this.

  • On the other hand, GNOME is GPL'd, and it's hard to dispute Miguel's indomitable energy. GNOME has certainly done a lot to push Linux onto desktops (as has KDE).

    Personally, I agree with you, though. TeX continually amazes me.


  • As an NYC resident, I wish I'd known even 24hrs sooner, so I could actually go to the event.

    I actually knew about the darn thing, and could've gotten free tickets, too bad it all took place during the dreaded finals week!

    Congrats to all, and I am truly sorry I am not out drinking with the blockstackers crew right now.

  • Being almost a die-hard command-prompt (bash, et. al.) user,

    That was what my Linux experience had been as well. I think I compiled/configured XFree86 three years ago on a Debian box; I remember thinking boy, it's not really worth the effort unless you want to spend weeks tweaking it.

    When I saw Gnome for the first time, I flipped my lid. In that bubbly, excited emotional state that my new discoveries Linux/FS/etc. can produce, I called my friends and swore that Windows would meet its maker in a year or less.

    Though a bit enthused, I still think that de Icaza's & others' work on Gnome is a serious threat to proprietary software in general. It presents a serious, no-foolin' example of fabulous free software that even the novice user can see. It's at that point that you can gently pose the question, "and why do you think these programmers wish to let others see their source code?" You can make reg'lar folks see the beauty of the idea for a minute at least...

    Bravo to the FSF and de Icaza.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 14, 1999 @02:18PM (#1464747)
    Let please not only focus on GNOME, Miguel has contributed to many GNU projects. Anybody using RAID on Linux is using Miguel's code. Also if you have ever used Linux on a SPARC you can also thank Miguel since he was also involved with that.
  • The real question is, why not?

    So, um, why not?

    - Jeff A. Campbell
    - VelociNews ( [])
  • by spaceorb ( 125782 ) on Tuesday December 14, 1999 @02:25PM (#1464750)
    It looks like the real URL for the pictures is: []
    or [], but note they won't be up for another hour or so.

    Also, ZDTV will be broadcasting the awards here: [] on Thursday, Dec 16 2:00pm
  • We used to make fun of stupid PR like this...hmm, maybe I'll show up and throw spitballs or something...someone needs to liven this up...

    Watch out for the 6 foot blond!
  • This comment was TOTALLY on topic. I too would like to know if it was 10 guys, 100 people or what - how many people attended is MOST CERTAINLY a valid question in this discussion - I'd still like the answer.
    "I have no respect for a man who can only spell a word one way." - Mark Twain
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Ha. You don't think moderators actually *READ* the posts? (Score -10 : Offtopic, Flamebait, Overrated, It's Been Said, It belongs in the "Trolls, Natalie Portman, & Saving Slashdot" Article) This is an example of how moderators should not be let loose to moderate an article until after a time delay. Too many moderators are too trigger happy to spend their moderation points. It might somehow be construed as "off-topic" (I don't know *how*, but anyway), but (1) there will probably be a lot more posts that should have been moderated instead of this one, and (2) It didn't deserve to be moderated down TWICE. Solution? Moderator's can't moderate until either there are 25 comments attached to an article, or for 10 minutes after an article is posted (whichever comes first). Even then, each post can only be moderated once. After 75 comments or 30 minutes (whichever comes first) then a comment can be moderated by another moderator. This is just an example of a comment being penalized just for being the second comment. Just a rant.
  • > On the other hand, GNOME is GPL'd,

    And your point is?

    As far as I can tell the only restriction on TeX is "If this program is changed, the resulting system should not be called TeX". You cant get much more opensourced than that.

  • Not to sound like a complete a-hole but..
    .. you're kidding, right?

    Miguel is widely known for heading the GNOME project, which has made incredible leaps in helping the user-friendly side of linux.

  • by LordBishop ( 86035 ) on Tuesday December 14, 1999 @02:44PM (#1464759) Homepage
    For those curious, the pics from the awards are up. They are at r/fsf/ []
    Yes, I know putting them under the comdex dir is asking for trouble... but at least they are there :)

    pax, Bishop

  • Now that I know who she is I have even less respect for the Anonymous Coward...
  • I find it incredibly disgusting, but why don't the trolls just get creative and use the senseless poll options? After all, there must be a crappy of them.

  • Knuth is much much more than only TEX, he has written the monumental "Art Of Computer programming" which is the bible of computer science, he has introduced Literate programming, and has adavanced Computer Science in so much fields it's really to give him justice for all what has done. But Miguel (and all the Gnome bunch) have also done a lot to advance free software and Gnome is really becoming a Masterpiece, I use happily now for nearly all my needs, and I think this awards is really well desreved.
  • Ok dude, I haven't had much of a problem with this Natalie Portman stuff before (some of it was actually pretty funny) but this goes way beyond any good taste or humor (it's pretty offensive, actually)...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 14, 1999 @03:00PM (#1464765)
    So I hope that Knuth gets what he deserves next time

    I say we don't give that Knuth a damn thing until he finishes vols 4 & 5 of The Art of Programming
  • by Raul Acevedo ( 15878 ) <raul AT cantara DOT com> on Tuesday December 14, 1999 @03:02PM (#1464766) Homepage
    I'm guessing Miguel won over Knuth because Knuth has already been recognized a million times over for his contributions, and his contributions are not as recent as Miguel's. In other words, these awards aren't life time achievement awards; they are more for recent events. In recent times, Miguel has had much more of a direct impact than Knuth has.

    Though I agree, it does seem weird to pass over Knuth in favor of Miguel. (No offense, Miguel, you and your contributions to GNOME and free software rock. :)

  • I thought Knuth would get it at first. I thought he deserved it most. And perhaps he does. But upon further reflection, I think awarding Miguel de Icaza might have been a better idea after all. Frankly, Knuth doesn't need any awards. He deserves them in spades, but what good would it do? Everyone knows who he is! He's one of the most, if not the most respected programmer in existence!

    Icaza could use the recognition boost more. That may sound funny around /., where everyone knows who he is, but he's not nearly as widely known outside this little community.


  • Ok, getting OFF topic now...
    what happens in meta moderation when someone sees the "+1 insightful" (or whatever it was) on this one-liner, and then marks THAT "unfair?" It'd be nice to be able to see the sequence of moderation. I suppose this should move over to j a w a d 's thread.
  • Suggestions for Don Knuth so that his work may be recognized in the future:

    - change his own name to VA LiKnuthux Systems

    - make his own clock widget for GNOME

    - talk endlessly about his free software/gun collection swap meet parties

    - change the name of the MIX instruction set to something more catchy like 'KIX' or perhaps 'GNIX'

    - refute his 'Art of Programming' books and say: "Why bother now that Java programs for you?"

    - wear a red hat
  • Are they recognising themselves?
  • Well, everyone loves Knuth, but it seems to me that it is somewhat heartening that there is some award that he hasn't won.

    Also, it would have been really ironic if he had won. Just check the list of people that have won the prize that is named after him. If you don't know who Lasy and Andy Yao are, well, I guess I'm not surprised, but they are both CS giants.

    The Knuth Prize []

    I had to preview this 6 times before I got the html even close to right. Doh. Last day of classes. :)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    How come this wasn't webcast? These awards have more relevance to me than most awards on broadcast TV.
  • Because when reading all about Miguel and Eric getting free trips to NY and being able to support themselves doing whatever they want to do, not a single piece of software that I use day to day was written by either of them and I've never heard of anyone trying to integrate an actual piece of code of Miguel or Eric's into what they're doing.
  • I use Miguel's code every day, and I'm not even referring to his work w/ GNOME. Significant portions of the Linux kernel port to SPARC were done by Miguel, most notably the Sun Lance ethernet driver.
  • by zeppelin71 ( 114625 ) on Tuesday December 14, 1999 @03:35PM (#1464778)
    > he just doesn't stand up to Knuth. I mean, the guy's a shining beacon
    > of excellence in computer science.

    So let him continue to win Computer Science awards - this award was for the advancement of free software.

  • Knuth has done some other non-computer stuff. For instance the book Surreal Numbers []
    or 3:16 []. Lots of interesting things.
  • 18.JPG

    From that pic i would say 15 to 20 would be a good guess :)
  • So let him continue to win Computer Science awards - this award was for the advancement of free software.

    Which he has done. Have you ever looked at the license for TeX?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    There are hundreds of deserving people from the past and present of computer science. Knuth is certainly one of those deserving of praise. Perhaps a FSF lifetime achievement award is in order. BUT.. The award was for the advancement of free software this year. Miguel's contribution was to aid in the advancement of the thing that has been plaguing Unix for decades, the user interface. Linux still has a long way to go before I put it on my parents' system, but Miguel has brought that goal much closer.
  • by acroyear ( 5882 ) <> on Tuesday December 14, 1999 @03:54PM (#1464786) Homepage Journal

    I'd have to disagree. There's being a programmer, author, and teacher, who just happens to like to give away his code as examples as part of his teaching. I'd note that though he has a lot of excellent algorithms and utilities, and a very keen mathematical and "computer science" mind, his work is far more designed for true computer science-level programmers. That is not the majority of programmers, mind you; many will just use libraries that are built based on his code or algorithms, and probably not even know that's what they've got. [I'd be fascinated to learn just how much of the C++ STL classes and algorithms are based on his work.]

    The task of designing a desktop, building on the experiences, both good and bad, of existing (and long dead) systems, managing a GREAT number of code contributors (in the bigger picture, more than the linux kernel), acknowledging the GPL to the point of letting multiple developers work on different applications that do the same thing (how many mail clients do we need, guys), with the understanding that the best will come to the fore, but the lesser will remain compatible and functional (lets see MS Windows try THAT one...), all the while developing his own contributions (core at that), addressing incoming contributions to the core, combining multiple technologies that weren't originally intended to work together (Corba, X, etc...), being a spokesperson for the effort, and finally giving up his day job to do it all...

    Knuth was always a teacher and scientist. His work is greatly respected (and used) by scientists, engineers, developers, etc...this is good, and he has been acknowledged for it.

    Miguel is leading an effort to develop an entire system not to be used by developers, but by ANYBODY. It will, in the end, be a MUCH more exposed project. Knuth has respect and honor in the scientific community; Miguel will be on his way to earning respect and honor in the entire linux-using world at large (well, those who don't use KDE, anyways...). Starting that public recognition among developers and open source enthusiasts is very critical to the success of the idea the Free Software is for (or should be made for) EVERYBODY, not just developers.

    Yes, perhaps, it is political and timely. It is also necessary.

  • I've got to disagree with you, but let me be clear. Knuth, I believe, has done so much more for Computer Science than a lot of people have, including de Icaza. He has contributed a great deal, and regardless of how many awards he has won, he will always deserve more. However, I believe that the Free Software award is statedly for people who have specifically advanced the cause of Free Software; not that Knuth hasn't, but I believe de Icaza has directed his work much more specifically towards the cause of Free Software. It's a tough choice, I'll certainly admit, but I believe de Icaza to be a better candidate for this award.
  • have said how TeX is a much more/imp of a contribution than gnome, I agree w/ all of that and dont need to add any more to that in itself.
    But let us not forget about all the books and stuff that Knuth has written even w/ out TeX Knuth's contribution to FSF and CS in general is far far greater than what Miguel has done. Please dont take this to mean I dont respect Miguel, I certainly do and highly enjoy the s/w that he is working on. But as someone on /. just said his contri pales in comparison to what Knuth has done. I mean even comparing the two to each other is kind of unfare to both... more so to Knuth though.
    Any ways I am just rambling on (had a long day) congrats to Miguel and all the folks in the g(e?)nome project ;-)
  • Sorry I know this is off topic but she is the girl that played the queen in Star Wars E1
  • by Uruk ( 4907 ) on Tuesday December 14, 1999 @04:01PM (#1464790)
    Look at that thing!!! It's much cooler than an oscar. It has a picture of a friendly bearded GNU on the front, could probably double as a blanket for a midget, and looks like it's the exact same thing as free software - homemade. :)

    Very colorful. Oscars just gather dust on shelves. This thing can hang on the wall. Very nice. Wish I had one.

    OK, Knuth deserves one, sure, but he's not dead yet, and there will be awards like this in the future. Knuth may be VERY deserving of one, but it's hard to say that Icaza isn't deserving as well.

  • It gives recognition where recognition is due, it's fun, and it's a good excuse to draw attention to free software, which does encourage people to write free software.

    And as for whether or not the code is used by you or not, there's a lot of code that you don't use. There are a lot of people who never use perl and don't code in it, but that doesn't mean that larry wall didn't deserve his last year. It's not necessarily about whether or not you use it, but about the impact the software has had.

    And GNOME has had quite an impact. It went from buggy and barely realized to quite a nice system in very little time. And it's developing faster and faster as time goes on and as more people learn about GNOME. For that reason, even though I think it's had a big impact, the impact it has now probably isn't anything compared to where it's going to be in 2 more years

  • Indeed, congratulations on the Blockstackers award.

    I didn't have time to stay for most of the FSF awards ceremony but I saw that first award presented, from the back of the auditorium. I think it's too bad that it was held so late in the day, after the rest of the conference. Then again, maybe it would have just conflicted with tutorial tracks or something like that.

    I saw the panel discussion though, from the second row. That was interesting and got pretty amusing at times.

    Anyway, will there be some sort of report on the whole of the Bazaar's proceedings here on slashdot after it's all done?

    Looking forward to the party tomorrow evening - assuming that the possible MTA strike doesn't mess everything up.

    hmaon [greg velichansky]

    ps Can't log in because I lost my password and the email points to a machine that doesn't exist anymore so I can't have it mailed to me! Grr! Hey, Rob, if I find you and bug you in person, will you reset my password? :P
  • by turg ( 19864 ) <`gro.notsniw' `ta' `grut'> on Tuesday December 14, 1999 @04:15PM (#1464796) Journal
    Roblimo left out the "http://" -- to see the photos, click here [].
    "I am not trying to prove that I am right... I am only trying to find out whether." -Bertolt Brecht
  • One thing I'd like to see is some captions on the pictures. I can guess who some of the people are by context, and I *know* who some of the people are (RMS is rather, um, recognizable...:) but I just can't place a lot of the people in these pictures.

    Perhaps I'm looking at the wrong URL, if so, sorry...

  • I can't dispute the choice because I don't know the reasons. However, I would be inclined to vote for Knuth when Volume 4 of The Art of Computer Programming [] comes out. Admittedly, the book won't be a contribution to free software, per se, but it would be an appropriate time to recognize Prof. Knuth, if for no other reason than the fact that the first three volumes inspired his work on TeX and Metafont.
  • Perhaps credit is due in this thread to Prof. Knuth for the fact that texinfo, without which the excellent print and online documentation for Emacs, et al would have required more tool development, was based on TeX. All I want to know is whether we can nominate him again next year.
  • It is "For the Advancement of Free Software"

    I think this why Knuth didn't win. TeX is an integral part of the GNU system but isn't as important as GNOME. As far as all of Knuth's other accomplichments, well, I don't think the award is about that.

    I personally feel that Knuth should have gotten the award but I can understand why Miguel got it. Just look at everything he has done with GNOME:
    • Lead the entire project despite all the scorn directed at GNOME and at *him* personally (as you will find evident elsewhere in this forum)
    • Ports Midnight Commander to GNOME for their file manager
    • Develops the leading spreadsheet application in the GNU/Linux world
    • Of course he is responsible for much of the code in the GNOME support libraries
    • Develops the GNOME component framework (Bonobo)
    • A number of other things I am surely missing

    So it makes sense really. But still, developing TeX and making it free... a difficult thing to compete with.

    Congratulations to Miguel and the finalists... and thanks.

    (I sincerely hope there is no political hocus-pocus going on... I don't think so but...)
  • Hey,
    Does being our geekie selves mean we can't manage to put a caption on a few measly photos or put them on the web in thumbnail size that can be expanded? I mean, have we sworn off making things remotely user-friendly when it come to a simple web page or something? No one ever tells me these things.
  • I'll lose karma for this, but...

    Most of the discussions about moderation are a "here & now" sort of deal. What I mean by that is, it needs to be discussed in the main forum to allow moderators to fix their mistakes. It's important to discuss, but sometimes more important to discuss shortcomings when something can be done.

    Just my $.02.

    An even more off-topic thought: It would be nice if we could down moderate our own comments without losing karma. I know this is dreadfully off-topic, if I could knock it down to a zero or -1 without posting anonymously, I'd appreciate it.

    i dont display scores, and my threshhold is -1. post accordingly.
  • Look at this []

    Has anyone else noticed that RMS looks a helluva lot like Ron Jeremy there?

    I bet with a little shaving, RMS could be the next great porn star!
  • The kinda skinny guy at the podium with glasses is Miguel, I believe.

    You've probably seen a picture of rob malda too - he's the guy with the very short hair and the small beard.

    The other guys I don't know, but stallman, malda, and miguel were primarily the ones at the podium.

  • If we talking about user-friendly side of things I think KDE is _the_ answer here. At least according to users which vastly prefer KDE ( and being user friendly somehow implies that it is providing what they want ...)
  • >>- but he just doesn't stand up to Knuth. I mean,
    >> the guy's a shining beacon of excellence in computer science.

    >Have you ever looked at the license for TeX?

    So he wrote TeX and is nominated because of it. My point was that his acheivements in the field of computer science are not particularly relevant to THIS award. His comp sci acheivements are why some posters seem to think he should have won... is this simple point really that tough to follow?

  • Somebody is actually using texinfo ??

    Everywhere I went people delete this stuff and still rely on old good man pages ...
  • I thought it was all about letting "me" post comments?
  • Hear, hear! He's hard at work, we're told.
    Giving a lecture on MMIX tomorrow (Wednesday) here at MIT (I think that's the right date) ... I plan on attending...
  • Good point. Mabye it's the fact that the note was in italics that I completely missed that. And yes, I know how to check URLS. In fact, I tried several combinations before posting that message so I wouldn't feel like a moron. I don't think it helped. I'll classify myself as a moron on this issue.
  • by Rasmus ( 740 ) on Tuesday December 14, 1999 @06:39PM (#1464818) Homepage
    Whoa.. the /. crowd goes nuts again...

    There were probably about 125 people in the audience by my estimation.

    RMS explained why they eliminated Knuth from the 3 finalists by basically saying that he was in a whole other league and has already won just about every award out there and there wouldn't be any point in adding yet another award to the long list. He is already recognized.

  • Software hoarders may have loads of moneeeeeeeeeeeyyyyy....

    That is truuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuueeeeee hackers that is trueeeeeeeeee....

    By the way, if you're looking for a techno version of the free software song, look no further:
  • Start attending LUNY or one of the many Free Software Users Groups in the NYC area.

    then you'd know.

    Yes, we celebrated Free Software with Free Beer.

    thanks for the hospitality, Copyleft.

  • by edmz ( 118519 ) on Tuesday December 14, 1999 @07:16PM (#1464821) Homepage
    I feel really proud that a fellow mexican
    wins this award, specially since his effort
    to make linux more friendly, will help our
    schools, which belive me, need LOTS of help.

    Education in Mexico doesnt have a big
    budget, and the best public schools at the most
    have a couple of old pentiums. My mom was a
    teacher in one of the top 3 public schools in my city,
    Mexicos seconds largest and richest, and they only
    have 20 or so old pentiums.

    A lot of companies are donating old equipment
    to the schools and only linux and gnome will make
    this equipment useful and worth using.

    Not only does he deserve the award for technical
    merit, but also for his social awareness; well,
    at least for what he has done in Mexico :)

    Again, congrats Miguel!
  • Yes, I have the techno version - it's awesome. I listen to it in my car, on the way to work, when I go clubbing, at my nephew's birthday party, at the office christmas party - its uses are endless :-)

  • (Use the Preview Button! Check those URLs! Don't forget the http://!)

    I got moderated down massively in the past for f*c*ing that one up.
  • (Use the Preview Button! Check those URLs! Don't forget the http://!)

    I got moderated down massively in the past for f*c*ing that one up. Now I'll get moderated down for being a sarcastic ass. HA!
  • I don't understand this.
    So some of you guys think Miguel won the award because his contribution is more recent?

    Then why do they even bother to include Knuth as one of three finalists?

    There are tons of free software projects out there. Why didn't they pick one of those programmers? And how Larry Wall got the award last year?
  • Fetchingly clad in a light blue plaid shirt? Wonderfully fuzzy, warm-looking red, white, grey and blue sweater? LOL
    Roblimo, I've never seen your picture but I'm guessing you ain't close to Rebecca Romijn(?) Stamos. I'll be awaiting your report on Entertainment Tonight. hehe
    But seriously congrats to all the winners!
  • and for blabbing my fool head off about nothing.

    LOng day./...............

    All Apologies

  • Right... I'm disappointed that it wasn't a bigger event. At first I thought, "Oh, well, at least Miguel made the effort to come." Then I rememberered he now lives in Boston. ;)

    Testing turning off the +1 bonus in KFM again...

    Vovida, OS VoIP
    Beer recipe: free! #Source
    Cold pints: $2 #Product

  • by Q*bert ( 2134 ) on Tuesday December 14, 1999 @10:53PM (#1464831)
    This post is hardly worthy of a response, but I'll post one anyway, because I think it's important to set things straight.

    I have been following the GNOME project since Miguel was writing the predecessor to Gnumeric in Scheme. (Yes, Scheme.) During this time, I have never seen him bash anyone or anything. He even gives credit to Microsoft, for cryin' out loud (for good GUI design in Word and Excel, in case you're curious). The only criticisms I have seen him make are of 1) Microsoft's business practices and 2) the old Qt license. These were reasoned criticisms that actually explained how consumers were hurt and focuesd on positive solutions. There was never anything approaching "bashing". Miguel is always one to say "I believe" or "many people prefer" or "there are concerns about". He almost never explicitly says "This is bad."

    Since the new Qt license, I haven't seem Miguel say a bad word about KDE. His only comments are ones of encouragement and praise for the virtues of "competition". By the way, did you know he uses FreeBSD as well as Linux? Now he tests his software on his own box, running FreeBSD. So he's not bashing anyone in that camp, either.

    Despite the divisive flames of people like you, the actual KDE and GNOME developers are working closer than ever before. Window managers like E support them both. The only thing lacking is a common object model, and programmers from both sides are working on the idea.

    Stop trying to sabotage the free software movement. Stop slandering Miguel.

    Vovida, OS VoIP
    Beer recipe: free! #Source
    Cold pints: $2 #Product

  • by rsidd ( 6328 ) on Tuesday December 14, 1999 @11:08PM (#1464833)
    True, Knuth does not need another award. But to nominate him, shortlist him for the finals, and then not give it to him on these grounds, is ridiculous. They could have shortlisted someone else, and announced that they weren't considering people like Knuth.
  • Oooh! Transcripts online? Sign me up! (By the way, does anyone know why the hell TechNetCast hasn't put up transcripts of the God & Computers lectures yet?)
  • I reposted some of the photos at []
  • The anti-virgin.
  • AAAAAAAAH! This is hilarious!!! Thanks for the good laugh :)
  • I can't imagine being half as productive with Emacs if I didn't have both the Emacs Manual and the Emacs Lisp Manual available for immediate browsing. I admit that I use the man pages for things like textutils, fileutils, etc. Things I use from Emacs, I use info files for. Things I use from bash, I use man pages for.

  • Knuth doesn't need any awards. He deserves them in
    spades, but what good would it do? Everyone knows who he is! He's one of the most,
    if not the most respected programmer in existence!

    I agree with you, but if this is true, it is wrong to nominate him in the first place! It has the same stale taste as considering the Kalashnikov and Perl as the greatest hacks of all time ...along with the pyramids of Egypt!

  • Miguel the winner? This is a bad joke. Miguel is NOT in the same league as Knuth. It is a downright insult that he won over Knuth. But I
    guess being the flavour of the month pays off right? Slashdot has done wonders for Miguel the Mouth's image, especially by helping Miguel
    belittle other projects. Has Knuth done that? Nope. How has making a desktop environment 'advanced' computing in general? Gnome &
    KDE are still behind what you can find on other environments. Alan Kay deserved an award for helping invent the GUI in Smalltalk but that
    was over 20 years ago. Is Gnome somehow more user-friendly than any other GUI out there? Not by a bloody longshot. But hey, I guess shiny
    themes are more important than integrity. On the basis of Miguel's unrelenting BASHING of other projects he did NOT deserve this
    recognition. If he was anyone else people would be screaming and yelling because of comments like "KDE has no future". Has Knuth bashed
    other computer scientists? Has Knuth gone on record time and time again badmouthing competing ideas? It's clear this award was a
    popularity contest, nothing more. I guess being part of the Slashdot clique pays off, eh? It's great to see that the Free Software Foundation
    wholeheartedly supports such an unrepentant asshole as Miguel D'Icaza. (Go ahead slashdot censors, moderate me gotta preserve
    your boy's club don't you?)

    It's a nice day outside. Why don't you go meet a nice woman or something, enjoy a milkshake, take a relaxing bath?

    Then maybe you won't take offensive hissy fits on public internet forums, and stay bitter that nobody wants to hear it. Your objections were echoed by a about a thousand other, less asshole-ish people than you.

    Go to hell, troll.

  • .
    Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.
  • Am I the only one upset because the part of the article shown in the Slashdot front page doesn't tell who won?
    I had to click to get the full story and the comments.
    Put important information early in your post. Inverted pyramids!
    This is a news site, not Agatha Christie.
  • Yup, I run linux on a lot of sparc boxes, and it has Miguel's name all over it. I'm not using GNOME, but still owe him being able to use my sparcs...
  • RMS said they decided against Knuth because the FSF award was supposed to go to people who hadn't gotten any other awards in the past year. And let's face it - Donald Knuth hasn't had an award-free year in at least two decades.

    Another little note: I counted approx. 160 people in attendance. They were spread throughout a large room so the photos didn't capture them all.

    - Robin

  • by Anabas ( 1375 )
    RMS is just a big ol' fat hippy huh? Who else would give a patchwork blanket for an award? Now I dont have anything against hippys or blankets. In fact, I find the whole thing rather amusing.
    Is there some sort of story behind the blanket? Why give a blanket as an award? Just seems kinda odd to me.
  • Actually, I was thinking more Sam Kinison.

    Maybe in the next Linux distro release, we can have an .au file of Linus pronouncing Linux, and a sound byte of RMS shouting 'AAHH-AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!'

    Just a thought...


  • Well, whatever happened before, I haven't feel
    more asahamed than now. Shortlisting one of the
    greatest scientists just because he already has
    enough awards, is unfair. I'm not telling that
    Gnome is good or bad. My point is that NO ONE
    compares to such prominent figures as Dr. Knuth,
    V. Cerf, E. F. Codd, N. Wirth and other outstanding minds.
    For ignorant script-kiddies that think Dr. Knuth is just an author of TeX,
    I would recommend visiting his website and having a look at the list of his work.
    Miguel de Icaza is excellent at programming. People like Dr. Knuth are programming itself.
  • I say we don't give that Knuth a damn thing until [...]

    I say Knuth doesn't give a damn.

  • What people need to understand here is that being a computer programmer is completely and utterly different than being a computer scientist.

    A computer programmer is someone capable of using certain tools to construct computer applications. OTOH, a computer scientist is someone who studies the science of computation (which really only recently has anything to do with the machines we call "computers").

    AFAIK, Miguel is a computer programmer. OTOH, Don Knuth is one of the most recognized and cited computer scientists in history. Miguel has apparently written much of the code for cool graphical apps for unix, which is commendable, while Don Knuth has contributed to the science of computing so much so that he is cited in nearly every computer science related book I have ever read. (this includes books dealing with topics ranging from databases, to computer graphics, to artificial intelligence). Forget about TeX (which is fabulous software that I use weekly), Don Knuth's contributions to the science of computing exceed any hacking efforts by several orders of magnitude.

    So, Miguel gets the award. You got to love how money and politics has changed the computer world.
  • So he wrote TeX and is nominated because of it. My point was that his acheivements in the field of computer science are not particularly relevant to THIS award. His comp sci acheivements are why some posters seem to think he should have won...

    Despite what some free software zealots believe, free software is based on what has come before it. Knuth is one of the largest contributers to this pool of knowledge. Dismissing his contributions as irrelevant is revisionist and disrespectful.

    Furthermore, Knuth has always taken a stand against software patents and has advocated open algorithms.

    is this simple point really that tough to follow?

    No, you are just wrong.

  • Hmmmnn, I never interacted with Miguel over IRC, so I can't say whether that part is true or not. However, I can say that it would be highly inconsistent with everything else I've seen at conferences, read in interviews, and found on the mailing list.

    You obviously can't prove your claims about IRC, but what about these supposed media "FUD"? Where are the articles? Post some URLs. Then we can all judge for ourselves whether he's a good software diplomat.

    Vovida, OS VoIP
    Beer recipe: free! #Source
    Cold pints: $2 #Product

Progress means replacing a theory that is wrong with one more subtly wrong.