For several years I have had the honor to have been serving in the jury for the Swiss Open Source Awards. This year the decision was a tough one. Entries were interesting and mature. But the jury had to come to a decision. Today the winners were announced in the context of the Open Source Business Forum in Berne/Switzerland.
The announcement had been made on Twitter pointing to the latest news page on www.opensource.ch. For the convenience of the English readership here an extract from that page in English:
The CH Open Source Awards honor companies, public entities, open source communities and individuals who have acted boldly and innovatively by developing or using open source software in a variety of ways. This year was the first time foreign open source projects were included in the selection process.
On Wednesday, October 8, 2014 the OSS Awards 2014 were awarded as part of the Open Source Business Forum in Berne. This conference brought together computer science experts of Deutsche Telekom, Swiss Re, Swisscom, green.ch, Visana, Rieter and other companies discussing how to use Open Source software in a professional environment. Moreover, the renowned Open Invention Network was introduced in Switzerland for the first time. This global industry consortium acquires software patents to Linux and other open source projects to protect from patent trolls. This week the Swiss Open Systems User Group “/ch/open” signed up as a member of the Open Invention Network.
And here are the winners:
OpenELEC is a media center based completely on free software. It is perfect for Home Cinema Systems and Media Center usage. By providing an optimized version for the very low-cost Raspberry Pi hardware OpenELEC became accessible to a wide user community and has now more than 200,000 active users. Originally a developer from Germany, Stefan Raue has developed a big part of the project from 2007 on in Switzerland. He currently lives and works in Germany. OpenELEC proves that the combination of free software with cheaper, also open hardware has enormous potential.
With Symfony CMF CMS functionality can easily be added to applications that use the popular PHP framework Symfony components. Symfony CMF was established in 2010 on a Hackday at the ETH and is developed by the company Liip AG in Zurich. The project has blossomed into a successful open source project with currently twelve active developers world wide. One of the most prominent users of the platform in Switzerland is the TV station joiz.ch. Symfony CMF shows that even in Switzerland new open source projects can arise with international appeal.
With the launch in January 2014 Version 3 of the Swiss map.geo.admin.ch Geoportal broke new ground: In order to meet the desired requirements for the platform, around 400,000 USD was collected in a crowdfunding campaign. Thus, the new version 3 of OpenLayers had been funded, which allows to render the maps in the web browser. The targeted development of existing, open source software, the Geoportal has not only increased the benefit massively for itself but simultaneously for all other users of OpenLayers.
The Special Prize “Champions in Open Source” goes to Kern Sibbald. As a student at the University of California he wrote his first program in 1961. Twenty years later, he was a founder and co-developer of Autodesk AutoCAD. To build its European business, he moved in the early nineties to Switzerland, where he still lives today. Instead of enjoying his retirement he started the core development of Bacula, the to date only Open Source professional backup solution for various operating systems and backup hardware. To offer professional support in 2008 he founded the Swiss company Bacula Systems, where he serves as CTO. Open Source is clearly not a question of age. Kern Sibbald clearly is a living proof for this!