Sourceforge.net, the biggest open source software development site, with over 100,000 hosted projects and more than a million users, just announced the winners of their Community Choice Awards for 2008. News of the event was surprisingly quiet, except in open source circles, even though it was open to any open source project, and not just the ones hosted on Sourceforge.net. It’s a shame that the event didn’t get more coverage, as it seemed to differ from what you normally expect of software ceremonies. A simple look at the category listing and you’ll see what I mean.
Most notable categories were ‘most likely to be the next $1B acquisition’, ‘most likely to be ambiguously and baselessly accused of patent violation’ and ‘most likely to get users sued by anachronistic industry associations defending dead business models’. You’ll get it, this event was much more than just about handing out trophies. It was an opportunity for Sourceforge.net and the open source community to speak their mind.
OpenOffice.org and phpMyAdmin were the big winners of the Community Choice Awards, picking up respectively three and two little statues (or whatever it is Sourforge.net handed out to them). VLC, which is clearly the most flexible and easy to use video player, picked up the prize for best multimedia, while Linux was hailed as ‘most likely to change the world’.
If the category titles are making you a little skeptic, just check out the names of the sponsors for the event: Microsoft, Mozilla, The Linux Foundation are but a few that helped make this possible. The finalists also include many applications that certainly would have deserved to win such as the XAMPP Apache distribution or the Drupal and XOOP content management systems. If you failed to participate this year, make sure at least that you check out some of the winners.