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12 August 2006
Computer Weekly, a UK IT newspaper is celebrating it's 40th anniversary. Through this it is inviting people to vote on the most influential people and organisations over the last 40 years.
These include some of the important names in the OpenSource and Linux areas. It would be nice if those were recognised through these awards. So please go along and vote for who you think is the most important. I've listed some of the ones I think are most relevant to the OpenSource and general IT community below.
There are four that stand out for this group. You can vote for three.
James Gosling, as father of Java has provided a means of breaking down the barriers between different operating systems by writing an application once that can run on any system.
Tim Berners Lee, who invented the world wide web.
Richard Stallman founder of the GNU Project and has contributed in many ways to Open Source software.
Linus Torvalds, should need to introduction to anyone aware of Linux. He created the Linux operating system and started a major software revolution.
This is a little more complex. Companies such as HP and IBM have no doubt improved the popularity of the Linux operating system with their support for the operating system on their hardware, and the funding of open source software. Apple has built it's latest operating system on top of an open UNIX kernel, but the operating system is still proprietary. Finally ICANN is an important part of the Internet infrastructure, but they are not a single organisation and many others are just as critical.
I think there are other organisations just as worthy that could be added, and I've suggested one in the "any other" box at the bottom. You could include RedHat for making Linux into a proper commercial model, or Debian for it's community focused distribution, or even Ubuntu (although it's perhaps too early to say that Ubuntu has had that much influence - maybe in the years to come). The one I went for is Mozilla for creating a browser able to rival Microsoft's Internet Explorer and hence keep the Internet open to all.
The hardware device is not tied in anyway to Linux or OpenSource.
The final section is on the most important software technology. I was tempted to vote for a non-listed software being software compilers. Without which most of our software wouldn't exist at all. I guess that's a bit borderline whether it is software technology or not. I have therefore just picked three of the existing entries.