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Winners of the Google-O'Reilly Open Source Awards Announced

Google and O'Reilly have announced the winners of the 2008 Google-O'Reilly Open Source Awards. Hat tip to Matt Asay for calling this out. I was very pleased to see one of the people behind Moodle named one of the winners. We've written widely about it. These awards, by the way, recognize special people in the open source community, not just projects. Here, below the fold, are the winners.

Drizzle: A Lean Fork of MySQL is Generating Buzz

Have you heard of Drizzle? As detailed here, it's a lightweight, open source SQL database for the cloud and the web, being designed for massive concurrency on multi-CPU/core architecture. If that sounds a lot like MySQL, it should. Drizzle's code is derived from MySQL--basically a fork of the MySQL 6.0 source code. However, it's stripped down in several ways deliberately, or refactored, for solutions to some of the problems that MySQL runs into. Brian Aker, who is an engineer at Sun, and behind the project, has a post up about it. He cites speed, simplicity and less overhead as benefits of Drizzle over MySQL. The project is on Launchpad here for developers, although you can't downlaod and use it yet. Here's more backstory.

Ubuntu is Everywhere at OSCON

The Ubuntu community hit the ground running at OSCON this week. Scarcely a couple of days into the event, there's already a new version of the distro to peruse and updates to the code hosting platform Launchpad to talk about. In the meantime, the project's founder, Mark Shuttleworth, still found time to deliver a presentation at the event and meet with a local tech group to talk about his vision for the future of Linux.


Want Your Project to Succeed? Build a Strong Community

Successful open-source projects have strong communities. What can you do to ensure that the community around your project is as strong as possible? At least two talks at today's OSCon in Portland, Oregon, will address this issue. They will look at antipatterns, things that are known not to work when building a community. These talks come just a few months after the publication of Clay Shirky's new book, Here Comes Everybody, in which he describes how society is changing as a result of the fact that the Internet massively reduces the cost of communication, publication, and distribution.

TechCrunch Wants a Tablet

A recent blog entry by Michael Arrington has stirred up some discussion around the web. Basically, it's a plea that someone design and build a $200 open-source web tablet: minimal specs, Linux, booting right into Firefox, that you can just pick up and use to browse the web with.

EnterpriseDB's Survey Results: Interesting, But I Have to Wonder....

Today at the OSCON conference in Oregon, open source database company EnterpriseDB announced the results of its 2008 Open Source Database Survey. It collected the opinions of 500 corporate IT leaders on enterprise adoption of open source databases. There is an executive summary of the findings available as a free PDF download.  EnterpriseDB focuses as a company on PostgreSQL, so it is calling out many of the findings from the survey related to that product, but there are other points of interest. In a few cases, I had to question the results. For example, only nine percent of respondents said they prefer commercial databases to open source ones.

Open Source Support: Important but Lagging

Is the availability and usefulness of open source support lagging behind its desirability? That's one of the messages that it's possible to get from a new survey conducted by OpenLogic, a company that specializes in selling enterprise-level open source software support. (We've looked at some other information from their open source experts in the past.)

NTT America Gives Open Sourcers a Transit Boost

Who says contributions to open source have to be software-based? As Datamation notes,  NTT America, a Tier 1 carrier and a division of Japan-based NTT Communications, is now helping open source by donating IPv6 transit to the Internet Systems Consortium (ISC). There is also a release out about the arrangement. Mozilla, FreeBSD and many other open sourcers are positioned to benefit from the donation.

Firebug Matures, Gets Developers and Hosting from Mozilla

If you're a Web developer, it's a pretty good bet that one of your most important tools is Firebug, an open-source debugger for HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Ajax that works inside of the open-source Firefox Web browser. Since it was first unveiled several years ago, Firebug has taken the Web-development world by storm, revolutionizing developers' ability to modify, test, and debug Web applications. In the last month, Firebug has received hosting and development assistance from Mozilla, a change that will almost certainly benefit both the software and the community.

Openmoko Inks a Distribution Deal

If you're interested in OpenMoko's Neo FreeRunner phone, but don't want to buy a development unit straight from them, there's another choice. Canadian company Koolu has signed on to distribute the phone in the Americas, UK, and EU, with plans to enhance and support the software as well.

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