It seems I’m again (as I was last year) nominated for the Nordic Free Software Award.
They list thirteen nominees, of which there are four organizations/companies. I’m proud to be mentioned in such a swell company.
Unfortunately I cannot be present at the FSCONS itself this year (where the award is being handed over), so all the partying and celebrating the award winner will have to be done without me! 🙂
I had already talked to the guys about going to FSCONS 2008 and do a talk about Rockbox and reverse engineering when I realized that the very same weekend we’re going to Rome, Italy with my company and if that isn’t enough, the Google summer of code mentor summit is also taking place that weekend in late October so if Italy somehow got canceled I would probably rather go to California… I quite enjoyed FSCONS last year so I’m a bit annoyed about this situation.
Isn’t that just the irony of life? Here I have an entire autumn with nothing much planned and then all of a sudden three events all take place on the same weekend.
I’m still on for another talk in September in Stockholm though but since I haven’t seen any public details about it I’ll refrain from being specific just yet.
It did struck me why the idea of handing the Nordic Free Software Award to a project feels like a bad idea: Free Software projects really aren’t geographical in general.
People tend to live at a fixed location for a specific time and thus you can say that N is living in a Nordic country or not.
Free Software projects however, are not even allowed to exclude people from other places and even projects that may origin at once place or even have its largest user-base in a particular geographical spot.
Last year’s Nordic Free Software Award was handed to Skolelinux since I believe the project origins in Norway (a nordic country) and some of the leading persons in the project are Norwegian. But is that then a nordic project? I don’t want to claim that it isn’t because I honestly don’t know, but their web site certainly says nothing about it being restricted or limited to nordic countries in any significant way. If it does, I couldn’t find it.
I am the primary person and maintainer behind curl but I wouldn’t dream of calling it a “nordic” project. The trio who started Rockbox are all Swedish but calling it a nordic project would just make me laugh.
Isn’t it so, that if you can come up with a “Nordic” Free Software project that currently only lives and strives within one or more Nordic countries without spreading itself over the world, isn’t that then more likely to be a proof of a failure of said project than anything else?
So they’ve opened the nomination process for the Nordic Free Software Award 2008.
Now’s the perfect time to run over and submit your favourite “nordic” free software person and have him/her get some of the appreciation he/she deserves.
Ah you can in fact also nominate teams or projects for this award as well, as last year the Skolelinux was awarded the price. I’m actually not really sure that I like that. I think the price should either be for single persons or for teams and projects.
If you rather be in the jury for the awards, the guys are also looking for such people!
Back at FSCONS ’07, I asked the guy doing the Openmoko presentation about whether they are going GTK or Qt, as his talk mentioned both and he didn’t really spell it out on what horse they were putting their money on. He then thought it was a really funny question and went on to explain how the Openmoko is like a small computer that can run anything you want. A bit like he was educating us that embedded devices do have CPUs that can run actual software. As if they wouldn’t have a main branch and a main development selecting one of these particular toolkits…
Many moon laps later, I discussed Openmoko with a friend over a few stouts at Snaxx 18, and he explained how he’d got one of the dev boards a long time ago and had kept up and tried a lot of versions of it and that it basically never worked to even make simple phone calls. He gave me the impression that perhaps the project wasn’t really that well run if it after this long still don’t have even the most basic functionality present and running stable.
Therefor I was happy to listen to TWIT 143 about the Dash Express and them telling me about it being based on the Openmoko platform. It felt like solid proof they are moving in the right direction then, so at least parts of the project must be functioning!
Then, to round it up it was with a big grin I read about the recent news that they are abandoning GTK and are now going to use E17 and Qt instead. Not a trace of any “this is like a small computer it can run anything” talk now (although I do understand that the statement was just something from this person and not any public endorsement from the project or so). This very same Ars Technica article says the first Openmoko based phone called Freerunner is going into “mass production stage next month” (that would be June 2008).
Personally, I can still see how making Rockbox run as an application on an Openmoko device would be a very cool thing.
It’s worth noting that a bunch (half of them) of the talks that were captured on video during FSCONS 2007 have now been made available as torrents on FSF Europe’s web site. My talk is not yet there.
Apparently they’re also on their way of creating a new main web site for this year’s event.