One problem SIIA has with its Best Open Source Solution category is that it costs developers a minimum of $275 to register their product for the judging. While this may be a drop in the bucket for large corporations, it can be significant for single-developer shops that rely on voluntary individual contributions.
The SIIA's visibility among open source developers is another problem. While everyone likes to be recognized for doing a good job, few open source developers actually go out seeking award opportunities, preferring instead to spend their time improving the code.
The past couple of years, I served as a preliminary judge for the open source category. I noted these issues to the Codie program manager, who told me the organization was aware of the problems and thinking about ways to correct them. Unfortunately, they haven't gotten around to it yet. Perhaps we as a community can offer them suggestions.
Meanwhile, judging season is upon us for the 2006 awards. This year's nominees are:
- CollabNet - CollabNet Subversion
- Novell - ZENworks 7 Linux Management
- Red Hat - Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4
- Sun Microsystems - NetBeans 4.1
- Sun Microsystems - Sun Microsystem's OpenSolaris
- Trolltech AS - QT 4
- Zimbra - Zimbra Collaboration Suite
I know what you're thinking. "What about Firefox? What about PHP? What about KDE/Apache/GAIM/MySQL/OpenOffice.org/etc.?" The simple answer is that no one paid up to nominate any of them.
I'm not sure what ZENworks is doing on this list. Last time I checked, Novell wasn't giving anyone ZENworks source code.
Given that our readers collectively have much more experience and savvy than Your Humble Editor, I thought I'd ask your opinions about the products you've used. How would you rank them on a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high)?
I'll add my opinions to your assessments when I turn in my judging sheets. Together, I hope we can pick the best of the products we have to work with.