And the Winners Should Be?

Each year at EclipseCon we announce the winners of the Eclipse Community Awards.  The last 4 years we have recognized worthy individuals and products for their contribution to the Eclipse community.

This year I’d like to take a fresh look at the Eclipse awards and see if we can/should revamp the categories.   Are there other categories we should introduce to acknowledge participation in the community?

As a reminder the individual categories from last year were:

  • Top Ambassador
  • Top Committer
  • Top Contributor
  • Top Newcomer Evangelist

And the product/technology categories were:

  • Best Developer Tool (Commercial and Open Source)
  • Best RCP Application (Commercial and Open Source)
  • Best Equinox Based Application (Commercial and Open Source)

Some ideas for new categories:

  • Most open Eclipse project  – we would need to come up with a scoring metric
  • Most popular Eclipse project  – select this based on voting
  • Most popular commercial product – select based on voting  (the existing awards are selected by a judging panel)
  • Most prolific blogger  – measured by posting on PlanetEclipse
  • Most active committer/contributor – select based on number of bugzillas open/closed?

If we introduce new categories we might drop some of the existing ones, for instance Top Ambassador.

I am looking for ideas and feedback.   We can just go with what we did in the past but I think it is important to keep things fresh.




9 thoughts on “And the Winners Should Be?

  1. Ian,

    Seems like there should be a distinction for the person that gives the most of their free time. Many of our best committers are paid to do that. I don’t want to take away from their contributions (we can’t live without them).

    I just think that there should be some form of recognition for those that go above and beyond even though it is not their job. Is there a way of recognizing this or even measuring it?

  2. Ian,

    I support Scott Rosenbaum’s suggestion. If we take the paid and unpaid contributions together, the unpaid contributors can never beat the paid contributors time spend with the community. I fully respect the paid contributions, ‘cos thats how eclipse has come to life and still breathing.

    But the unpaid contributions supports the community through innovative products (like gef3d), by testing projects for free through bugzilla entries, by documenting/criticizing/discussing products through blogs, articles and tutorials, by organizing democamps, by presenting eclipse related papers in summits. This way, lot of unpaid contributors spread the word about eclipse, and helps to increase the number of adopters.

    If somehow these contributions are recognized, it will encourage and attract more and more contributors to the community.

    A top newcomer evangelist, or top contributor will recognize only a single contributor out of thousands.

    May be, top 10 contributors of an year or separate categories for unpaid contributors (will it hamper the OS spirit?)…

  3. The boarder line between what’s paid and unpaid isn’t always entirely clear. Even those who are paid have personal time that isn’t paid, and might well be using it the same way as the unpaid contributors. Similarly, someone working at a university might well be receiving government grants for their research.

    I like the new ideas a lot though of course many if not all seem susceptible to gaming. Are many small bugzillas worth more than a few big ones? Do we count words in a blog, and are pictures worth a thousand words? Does reformatting your code base make you look exceedingly productive? Do code generators multiply your productivity tenfold? Are you good at getting the vote out? Do you work for a large company with many voters?

  4. @Scott, @Madhu I agree it would be nice to recognize the ‘volunteers’ in the Eclipse community. In fact the existing Top Contributor award is intended for someone that is not being paid to make the contribution. Sounds like we need to make this more obvious, maybe call it Top Volunteer? The challenge I think is that a lot of people are paid but also volunteer so where do you draw the line.

    @Ed so are you suggested we shouldn’t do the new ideas since they are susceptible to gaming? The existing Individual awards are also susceptible to gaming too? In practice I think the people that have won have been worthy winners.

    @Zviki I like the idea of an innovation award. Just not really sure how to do it. Should it be judged or voted?

  5. Instead of ‘Most Popular Project’ I suggest ‘Most Active Project’. It takes time to be a popular project like JDT or EMF but there are projects which have wonderful momentum and should be encouraged.

    As for Individuals, how about ‘Eclipse Hacker Award’? This should go to someone not FTE on Eclipse or its projects.

  6. @Nirav good point about Most Popular Project. Maybe we should look at something like ‘Best New Project’ and only projects created in the last year would qualify?

  7. Ian,
    How about the idea of most popular government Eclipse application? 😉

    Using open-source software in government has its own unique set of challenges.

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