History of the Open Source Awards
In the spring of 2003, John Graham-Cumming (author of the POPFile
email filtering package) proposed the idea of an open-source awards
program to David Berlind of CNET.
Decision-makers at CNET became enthusiastic about the proposal; one of
them, Abbey Flores, took the lead in trying to put together a program
Abbey and John, having judged that CNET needed to cooperate closely
with open-source insiders in order to design and run an effective
program, put out a call for assistance to several community leaders.
One of these was Eric S. Raymond, president of the Open Source Initiative.
Eric dusted off an awards-program proposal he had written in 1994
and suggested that it might appropriately be run as a joint project of
OSI and CNET. CNET liked the proposal. After getting approval from
OSI's Board of Directors, Eric designed a complete program and
negotiated an agreement with CNET on behalf of OSI under which OSI, as
a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, would manage the Awards. The
agreement was signed by both parties in May of 2003. We also entered
into cooperation with O'Reilly and Associates, who offered the Open
Source Conference as a venue for the annual Awards ceremony.
Subsequently Eric recruited the founding electors of the Collegium:
Jeremy Allison, Larry Augustin, Jim Gettys, Keith Packard, and Guido
van Rossum. Legate status was conferred on Tim O'Reilly of O'Reilly
and Associates and to David Berlind of CNET.
The launch announcement for the Open Source Awards was issued on 10
July 2003 at the 2003 Open Source Convention, with initial sponsorship
from ActiveState, U.S. Venture Partners. Sponsorship
swiftly followed from Hewlett-Packard and other
The goal for the Open Source Awards was and is that they develop a
level of prestige, authority, and benefits for their recipients
analogous to that of the Hugos, the Fields Medal, or (ultimately, once
the tradition has become established and mature) even a Nobel