Tag Archives: Award

Nordic Free Software Award reborn

Remember the glorious year 2009 when I won the Nordic Free Software Award?

This award tradition that was started in 2007 was put on a hiatus after 2010 (I believe) and there has not been any awards handed out since, and we have not properly shown our appreciation for the free software heroes of the Nordic region ever since.

The award has now been reignited by Jonas Öberg of FSFE and you're all encourage to nominate your favorite Nordic free software people!

Go ahead and do it right away! You only have to the end of February so you better do it now before you forget about it.

I'm honored to serve on the award jury together with previous award winners.

This year's Nordic Free Software Award winner will be announced and handed their prize at the FOSS-North conference on April 23, 2018.

(Okay, yes, the "photo" is a montage and not actually showing a real trophy.)

The curl year 2017

I'm about to take an extended vacation for the rest of the year and into the beginning of the next, so I decided I'd sum up the year from a curl angle already now, a few weeks early. (So some numbers will grow a bit more after this post.)

2017

So what did we do this year in the project, how did curl change?

The first curl release of the year was version 7.53.0 and the last one was 7.57.0. In the separate blog posts on 7.55.0, 7.56.0 and 7.57.0 you'll note that we kept up adding new goodies and useful features. We produced a total of 9 releases containing 683 bug fixes. We announced twelve security problems. (Down from 24 last year.)

At least 125 different authors wrote code that was merged into curl this year, in the 1500 commits that were made. We never had this many different authors during a single year before in the project's entire life time! (The 114 authors during 2016 was the previous all-time high.)

We added more than 160 new names to the THANKS document for their help in improving curl. The total amount of contributors is now over 1660.

This year we truly started to use travis for CI builds and grew from a mere two builds per commit and PR up to nineteen (with additional ones run on appveyor and elsewhere). The current build set is a very good verification that that most things still compile and work after a PR is merged. (see also the testing curl article).

Mozilla announced that they too will use colon-slash-slash in their logo. Of course we all know who had it that in their logo first... =)

 

In March 2017, we had our first ever curl get-together as we arranged curl up 2017 a weekend in Nuremberg, Germany. It was very inspiring and meeting parts of the team in real life was truly a blast. This was so good we intend to do it again: curl up 2018 will happen.

curl turned 19 years old in March. In May it surpassed 5,000 stars on github.

Also in May, we moved over the official curl site (and my personal site) to get hosted by Fastly. We were beginning to get problems to handle the bandwidth and load, and in one single step all our worries were graciously taken care of!

We got curl entered into the OSS-fuzz project, and Max Dymond even got a reward from Google for his curl-fuzzing integration work and thanks to that project throwing heaps of junk at libcurl's APIs we've found and fixed many issues.

The source code (for the tool and library only) is now at about 143,378 lines of code. It grew around 7,057 lines during the year. The primary reasons for the code growth were:

  1. the new libssh-powered SSH backend (not yet released)
  2. the new mime API (in 7.56.0) and
  3. the new multi-SSL backend support (also in 7.56.0).

Your maintainer's view

Oh what an eventful year it has been for me personally.

The first interim meeting for QUIC took place in Japan, and I participated from remote. After all, I'm all set on having curl support QUIC and I'll keep track of where the protocol is going! I've participated in more interim meetings after that, all from remote so far.

I talked curl on the main track at FOSDEM in early February (and about HTTP/2 in the Mozilla devroom). I've then followed that up and have also had the pleasure to talk in front of audiences in Stockholm, Budapest, Jönköping and Prague through-out the year.

 

I went to London and "represented curl" in the third edition of the HTTP workshop, where HTTP protocol details were discussed and disassembled, and new plans for the future of HTTP were laid out.

 

In late June I meant to go to San Francisco to a Mozilla "all hands" conference but instead I was denied to board the flight. That event got a crazy amount of attention and I received massive amounts of love from new and old friends. I have not yet tried to enter the US again, but my plan is to try again in 2018...

I wrote and published my h2c tool, meant to help developers convert a set of HTTP headers into a working curl command line.

The single occasion that overshadows all other events and happenings for me this year by far, was without doubt when I was awarded the Polhem Prize and got a gold medal medal from no other than his majesty the King of Sweden himself. For all my work and years spent on curl no less.

Not really curl related, but in November I was also glad to be part of the huge Firefox Quantum release. The biggest Firefox release ever, and one that has been received really well.

I've managed to commit over 800 changes to curl through the year, which is 54% of the totals and more commits than I've done in curl during a single year since 2005 (in which I did 855 commits). I explain this increase mostly on inspiration from curl up and the prize, but I think it also happened thanks to excellent feedback and motivation brought by my fellow curl hackers.

We're running towards the end of 2017 with me being the individual who did most commits in curl every single month for the last 28 months.

2018?

More things to come!

My night at the museum

Thursday October 19, 2017,

I arrived at the Technical Museum in Stockholm together with my two kids just a short while before 17:30. A fresh, cool and clear autumn evening. For this occasion I had purchased myself a brand new suit as I hadn't gotten one since almost twenty years before this and it had been almost that long since I last wore it. I went for a slightly less conservative purple colored shirt with the dark suit.

Apart from my kids, my wife was of course also present and so was my brother Björn and my parents in law. Plus a few hundred other visitors, most of them of course unknown to me.

My eleven year old son truly appreciates this museum so we took the opportunity to quickly check out parts of the exhibitions while the pre-event mingling went on and drinks were served. Not too long though as we were soon asked to proceed to the restaurant part and take our assigned seats. I was seated at table #6.

The whole evening was not entirely "mine", but as I am the winner of this year's Polhem Prize it was setup to eventually lead to the hand over of the award to me. An evening for me. Lots of attention on me and references to my work through-out the evening, that otherwise had the theme of traffic safety (my guess is that's partly due to last year's Prize winner who was a lead person in the invention of seat belts in cars).

A three-course dinner, with some entertainment intermixed. At my table I sat next to some brilliant and interesting people and I had a great time and good conversations. Sitting across the table from the His Majesty the king of Sweden was an unexpected and awesome honor.

Somewhere mid-through the evening, a short movie was presented on the big screens. A (Swedish-speaking) movie with me trying to explain what curl is, what it does and why I've made it. I think the movie was really great and I think it helps explaining curl to non-techies (including my own family). The movie is the result of a perhaps 40 minutes interview/talk we did on camera and then a fair amount of skilled editing by the production company. (Available here.)

At around 21:30 I was called on stage. I received a gold medal from the king and shook his hand. I also received a diploma and a paper with the award committee's motivation for me getting the prize. And huge bouquet of lovely flowers. A bit more than what I could hold in my arms really.

(me, and Carl XVI Gustaf, king of Sweden)

As the king graciously offered to hold my diploma and medal, I took the microphone and expressed a few words of thanks. I was and I still am genuinely and deeply moved by receiving this prize. I'm happy and proud. I said my piece in which I explicitly mentioned my family members by name: Anja, Agnes and Rex for bearing with me.

(me, H.M the king and Cecilia Schelin Seidegård)

Afterwards I received several appraisals for my short speech which made me even happier. Who would've thought that was even possible?

I posed for pictures, shook many hands, received many congratulations and I even participated in a few selfies until the time came when it was time for me and my family to escape into a taxi and go home.

What a night. In the cab home we scanned social media and awed over pictures and mentions. I hadn't checked my phone even once during the event so it had piled up a bit. It's great to have so many friends and acquaintances who shared this award and moment with us!

I also experienced a strong "post award emptiness" sort of feeling. Okay, that was it. That was great. Now it's over. Back to reality again. Back to fixing bugs and responding to emails.

Thank you everyone who contributed to this! In whatever capacity.

The Swedish motivation (shown in a picture above) goes like this, translated to English with google and edited by me:

Motivation for the Polhem Prize 2017

Our modern era consists of more and more ones and zeroes. Each individual programming tool that instructs technical machines to do
what we want has its own important function.

Everything that is connected needs to exchange information.  Twenty years ago, Daniel Stenberg started working on what we  now call cURL. Since then he has spent late evenings and weekends, doing unpaid work to refine his digital tool. It consists of open source code and allows you to retrieve data from home page URLs. The English letter c, see, makes it "see URL".

In practice, its wide spread use means that millions, up to billions of people, worldwide, every day benefit from cURL in their mobile phones, computers, cars and a lot more. The economic value created with this can not be overestimated.

Daniel Stenberg initiated, keeps it together and leads the continuous development work with the tool. Completely voluntary. In total, nearly 1400 individuals have contributed. It is a solid engineering work and an expression of dedicated governance that has benefited many companies and the entire society. For this, Daniel Stenberg is awarded the Polhem Prize 2017.

Polhemspriset 2017

I'm awarded the Swedish Polhem Prize 2017. (Link to a Swedish-speaking site.)

The Polhem Prize (Polhemspriset in Swedish), is awarded "for a high-level technological innovation or an ingenious solution to a technical problem." The Swedish innovation must be available and shown competitive on the open market.

This award has been handed out in the name of the scientist and inventor Christopher Polhem, sometimes called the father of Swedish engineering, since 1878. It is Sweden's oldest and most prestigious award for technological innovation.

I first got the news on the afternoon on September 24th and I don't think I exaggerate much if I say that I got a mild shock. Me? A prize? How did they even find me or figure out what I've done?

I get this award for having worked on curl for a very long time, and by doing this having provided an Internet infrastructure of significant value to the world. I've never sold it nor earned much of commercial income from this hobby of mine, but my code now helps to power an almost unimaginable amount of devices, machines and other connected things in the world.

I'm not used to getting noticed or getting awards. I'm used to sitting by myself working on bugs, merging patches and responding to user emails. I don't expect outsiders to notice what I do much and I always have a hard time to explain to friends and "mortals" what it is I actually do.

I accept this prize, not as a single inventor or brilliant mind of anything, but like the captain of a boat with a large and varying crew without whom I would never have reached this far. I'm excited that the nominee board found me and our merry project and that they were open-minded enough to see and realize the value and position of an open source project that is used literally everywhere. I feel deeply honored.

I'm fascinated the award nominee group found me and I think it is super cool that an open source project gets this attention and acknowledgement.

Apart from the honor, the prize comes in form of a monetary part (250K SEK, about 31,000 USD) and a gold medal with Polhem's image on. See this blog post's featured image. The official award ceremony will take place in a few days at the Technical Museum in Stockholm. I'm then supposed to get the medal handed to me by his royal highness Carl XVI Gustav , the king of Sweden. An honor very few people get to experience. Especially very few open source hackers.

Thank you

While I have so many people to thank for having contributed to my (and curl's) success, there are some that have been fundamental.

I'd like to specifically highlight my wife Anja and my kids Agnes and Rex who are the ones I routinely steal time away from to instead spend on curl. They're the ones who I drift away from when I respond to issues on the phones or run off to the computer to "just respond to something quickly". They're the best.

I'd like to thank Björn, my brother, who chipped in half the amount of money for that first Commodore 64 we purchased back in 1985 and which was the first stepping stone to me being here.

I'd like to thank all my friends and team mates in the curl project without whom curl would've died as an infant already in the 1990s. It is with honest communication, hard work and good will that good software is crafted. (Well, there might be some more components necessary too, but let's keep it simple here.)

I'd like to thank everyone who ever said thanks to me for curl and told me that what I did or brought to the world actually made a difference or served a purpose. Positive feedback is what drives me. It is the fuel that keeps me going.

How will this award affect me and the curl project going forward?

I hope the award will strengthen my spine even more in knowing that we're going down the right path here. Not necessarily with every single decision or choice we do, but the general one: we do things open source, we do things together and we work long-term.

I hope the award puts a little more light and attention on the world of open source and how this development model can produce the most stellar and robust software components you can think of - without a "best before" stamp.

I would like the award to make one or two more people find and take a closer look at the curl project. To dive in and contribute, in one way or another. We always need more eyes and hands!

Further, I realize that this award might bring some additional eyes on me who will watch how I act and behave. I intend to keep trying to do the right thing and act properly in every situation and I know my friends and community will help me stand straight - no matter how the winds blow.

What will I do with the money?

I intend to take my family with me on an extended vacation trip to New Zealand!

Hopefully there will be some money left afterward, that I hope to at least in part spend on curl related activities such as birthday cakes on the pending curl 20th birthday celebrations in spring 2018...

But really, how many use curl?

Virtually every smart phone has one or more curl installs. Most modern cars and television sets do as well. Probably just about all Linux servers on the Internet run it. Almost all PHP sites on the Internet do. Portable devices and internet-connected machines use it extensively. curl sends crash-reports when your Chrome or Firefox browser fail. It is the underlying data transfer engine for countless systems, languages, programs, games and environments.

Every single human in the connected world use something that runs curl every day. Probably more than once per day. Most have it installed in devices they carry around with them.

It is installed and runs in tens of billions of instances, as most modern-life rich people have numerous installations in their phones, with their web browsers, in their tablets, their cars, their TVs, their kitchen appliances etc.

Most humans, of course, don't know this. They use devices and apps that just work and are fine with that. curl is just a little piece in the engines of those systems.

2nd best in Sweden

"Probably the only person in the whole of Sweden whose code is used by all people in the world using a computer / smartphone / ATM / etc ... every day. His contribution to the world is so large that it is impossible to understand the breadth. "

(translated motivation from the Swedish original page)

Thank you everyone who nominated me. I'm truly grateful, honored and humbled. You, my community, is what makes me keep doing what I do. I love you all!

To list "Sweden's best developers" (the list and site is in Swedish) seems like a rather futile task, doesn't it? Yet that's something the Swedish IT and technology news site Techworld has been doing occasionally for the last several years. With two, three year intervals since 2008.

Everyone reading this will of course immediately start to ponder on what developers they speak of or how they define developers and how on earth do you judge who the best developers are? Or even who's included in the delimiter "Sweden" - is that people living in Sweden, born in Sweden or working in Sweden?

I'm certainly not alone in having chuckled to these lists when they have been published in the past, as I've never seen anyone on the list be even close to my own niche or areas of interest. The lists have even worked a little as a long-standing joke in places.

It always felt as if the people on the lists were found on another planet than mine - mostly just Java and .NET people. and they very rarely appeared to be developers who actually spend their days surrounded by code and programming. I suppose I've now given away some clues to some characteristics I think "a developer" should posses...

This year, their fifth time doing this list, they changed the way they find candidates, opened up for external nominations and had a set of external advisors. This also resulted in me finding several friends on the list that were never on it in the past.

Tonight I got called onto the stage during the little award ceremony and I was handed this diploma and recognition for landing at second place in the best developer in Sweden list.

img_20161201_192510

And just to keep things safe for the future, this is how the listing looks on the Swedish list page:

2nd-best-developer-2016Yes I'm happy and proud and humbled. I don't get this kind of recognition every day so I'll take this opportunity and really enjoy it. And I'll find a good spot for my diploma somewhere around the house.

I'll keep a really big smile on my face for the rest of the day for sure!

best-dev-2016(Photo from the award ceremony by Emmy Jonsson/IDG)

Bjarni got the award 2010

The Nordic Free Software Award 2010 was given the Icelandic hacker Bjarni Rúnar Einarsson.

The formal handing over of the prize was done during the social event at FSCONS 2010, with hundreds of free software hackers attending and a lot joy. Bjarni was also immediately invited to participate in the NFSA jury for next year, in an attempt to start a tradition of getting former winners on the jury.

NFSA-award

I'm happy to say that I served in the jury for the award this year. We were a bunch of Nordic free software enthusiasts in there, involving several previous winners. The winner this year, Bjarni Rúnar, was selected by us having a nomination process in which we received I believe 11 names and then a subsequent voting within the jury.

I did the press release draft and Karsten from FSFE polished it into something much better. I think that will go out early this week and I am now even mentioned as press contact for Sweden about the award. The FSFE posted their announcement, including my last name wrongly spelled...

The social event then went on with lots of free software talks with cool people from the entire Nordic region, and I certainly met a whole bunch of friendly hackers I didn't know before. It was also great fun to run into Giuseppe, the current wget maintainer.

(The picture might just be a fake.)

The award for me

I was asked what the Nordic Free Software Award that I received last year meant to me. This was my response that I now repost here for the public to see:

Daniel WinnerTo me, the NFSA is a recognition from my own kind. A really big thumbs-up from within my own team. From fellow hackers who know.

In a world where we spend lots and lots of time alone in front of screens during long dark hours, where most of what you do is just silently pushed into source code repositories or consumed by eager downloaders distributed all over the world, getting that kind of positivism is invaluable.

I found it to not only be a very big ego boost, but it also really ignited my desire to do more, to reach further and to prove that my receiving of the award is the beginning and not the end of what I am set to do in our free software world. In my particular case it was a primary factor behind the start of the Foss-sthlm network that I co-started not long after I got the award. I've pushed foss-sthlm forwards during this year with several meetings with a hundred or more attendees.

Getting weird looks from outsiders or a thank you from the occasional user is fun, but getting an award from people who actually know what you might have done and what it takes to do it, is priceless.

I'm perfectly aware that I am the super-nerd. I'm not the social guy. I'm not the person who unite crowds or inspire teams to create miracles. I'm a software developer and I design and create code. Lots of it. I debate technical details, protocols and choices on mailing lists. Lots of them. I share as much as possible of all that of course and I'm thrilled that what I do is considered this good and is appreciated to this extent.

Everyone doing volunteer work wants to get recognition for their efforts. I got it. Thank you!

During the social event at FSCONS 2010 when we announced the winner of this year and handed him his prizes, I was also given the prize I never received last year because I wasn't around at the actual award ceremony then. And of course, these guys love puns so...

Award prizes

From the left: a box with rocks (for my work on Rockbox), a transformer toy (I don't quite recall the reason for that) and curlers (for my work on curl). Click on the image to see it in full resolution, it is taken with my crappy mobile camera.

Nominations for Nordic Free Software Award 2010

Until October 22 you can nominate a person, a project or an organisation for the Nordic Free Software Award.

The Nordic Free Software Award is given to people, projects or organisations in the Nordic countries that have made a prominent contribution to the advancement of Free Software. The award will be announced during FSCONS 2010 in Gothenburg.

To nominate your favorite, email award at fscons.org with the following information:

  • Name of nominee
  • Description/Bio of the nominee
  • Motivation for the award
  • Description of accomplishments

Yours truly was awarded last year together with Simon Josefsson. 2008, the award was given to Mats Östling and 2007 to SkoleLinux.

Now go send in your award nomination.

Disclaimer: I'm a member of the jury this year!

I won it! You guys are the best.

I am happy and very proud to mention that I was just this evening awarded the Nordic Free Software Award 2009 and I share the award with my good friend and hacker extraordinaire Simon Josefsson.

Thank you jury. Thank you mates all over who by your positive feedback makes it a joy to work in the open source and free software community. Thank you to all you fellow hackers and contributors who work hard and tirelessly and therefore enable me to do what I want to do and do these things I today got awarded for.

Getting recognition from actual fellow peers within my own community is just the best.

And you know what? I will continue to work hard and I will continue to do open source and free software intensively and with my strengthened beliefs of what I think is right.

Thank you.

Nordic Free Software Award nominee 2009

I'm proud and happy to mention that I've been nominated for the "Nordic Free Software Award" 2009. I've been nominated before, in 2007 and 2008, but it still feels very good.

Dear Daniel Stenberg

The Nordic Free Software Award jury is delighted to inform you that you have been nominated for the 2009 Nordic Free Software Award. The Nordic Free Software Award is given out every years at FSCONS to honor an individual or team who have made a significant contribution to Free Software.

Congratulations and warm wishes on behalf of the Nordic Free Software Award jury

The list of nominees is now published and contains a fair bunch of giants in our field against which I am just an ant in comparison. The list of nominees:

  • Qt development team
  • Simon Josefsson
  • Daniel Stenberg
  • Henrik Nordström
  • Björn Stenberg
  • Andreas Nilsson
  • Varnish
  • Ask Bjørn Hansen
  • Knut Yrvin
  • Jari "Rakshasa" Sundell