2008 Finalists and Winners
Open Source Contributor
Open Source Software Project
Open Source Use in Government
Radio New Zealand
Open Source Use in Business
Open Source Use in Education
Open Source Use for Community Organisations
Open Source for Infrastructure
Finalists : Open Source Contributor
Francois Marier for contributions to Debian
Canadian born and now living in New Zealand, Francois maintains more than 25 packages for the Debian operating system. Though his work Francois gets New Zealand-made applications into popular Debian-based distributions like Ubuntu, including Mahara, Docvert, MonkeyTail and MythTV Status. As a developer in his own right Francois produces safe-rm which designed to prevent accidental deletion of files.
Glynn Foster for contributions to Sun open source and OpenSolaris
From its venerable origins as Sun's top class operating system Solaris, OpenSolaris is an exciting development in the free and open source space. Glynn has been working with Linux users here in New Zealand and worldwide to help OpenSolaris become a truly community-supported free and open source project. Filing bugs and patches based on his engagement with users, Glynn's efforts are helping establish a bright future for OpenSolaris.
Grant McLean for contribution to Wellington Perl Mongers
Grant has been organising the Wellington Perl Mongers for years, for nothing but a few beers and the opportunity to heckle his peers. In true free and open source spirit, the monthly Perl Monger meetings are free and there's no registration: if you're interested, just turn up. Typical of Grant's joyful approach to all things, the motto of the recent Hack Off 2008 was “coding just for fun!”.
Category winner: Robert O'Callahan for contributions to the Firefox project
Rob has been working on the Firefox project for a number of years. Now employed full-time by Mozilla Corporation, Rob has been successful in establishing a core team of four Firefox developers here in New Zealand working on making the world's best browser even better. His formula for success: “We just need to stay focused, keep making smart decisions, and keep shipping great software.”
Finalists : Open Source Software Project
Mahara for building community around free and open source eportfolios
Mahara is a Tertiary Education Commission-funded New Zealand free and open source project making a significant impact internationally. Already winning awards overseas, Mahara is challenging a number of closed commercial eportfolio offerings by evolving rapidly and providing a base of innovative web 2.0 features. A growing community of interest in Mahara is now turning a locally seeded project into one that can be self-sustaining globally.
OnlineGroups.Net for the GroupServer platform
OnlineGroups.Net has been providing custom collaborative sites for some five years, while methodically improving the GroupServer platform they run on. This year saw a milestone release of GroupServer – software that powers Steven Clift's Minnesota-based e-democracy.org community issues forums. The core team have invested considerable effort in making GroupServer scale to support large online groups, similar to Yahoo! or Google Groups.
Wikipublisher for bringing the power of LaTex to the world of wikis
Knowledge creation is a key driver of sustainable economic growth in New Zealand, and wikis are playing an increasing role in this largely collaborative activity. Wikipublisher is a unique open source project, with an avid following overseas, that turns online wiki content into beautifully typeset pages. By creating knowledge online first, Wikipublisher makes it instantly and widely accessible, while providing high quality printable documents that many prefer to read.
Category winner: Silverstripe for innovation in open source web content management
From its origins as a locally produced web content management system, Silverstripe took the open source path and has never looked back. Scoring a major coup this year with the the US Democratic National Convention website, Silverstripe is firmly on the world stage for New Zealand and open source software. With some 250 websites already showcased, Silverstripe has proven to be a versatile and rapidly evolving framework.
Finalists : Open Source Use in Government
National Library of New Zealand/Te Puna Māturanga o Aotearoa for use of and contributions to open source
The National Library plays a key role in preserving and delivering New Zealand digital content, collaborating with kindred organisations both here and overseas in the process. Open source is a natural fit for the National Library, which is both a producer and user of open source software. By developing software like the web curator tool and releasing it as open source, the Library fosters the networked community it is increasingly part of. While the Library looks at all the options for new projects, open source solutions permeate the Library at many levels.
State Services Commission for the newzealand.govt.nz Lightweight Content Management System
All-of-government projects are seldom lightweight, but the State Services Commission has cleverly avoided the trap of grandiosity by building a content management system that is just the right size for the task to hand. In line with the Commission's policy on intellectual property in ICT contracts, the agency will not retain control of the code, but plans to make it open for others to use through GPL licensing. In both its approach and guidance, the Commission has amply demonstrated efficacy in public expenditure on ICT.
Category winner: Radio New Zealand for content publishing using open source tools
Radio New Zealand's Richard Hulse really gets open source, and open standards. From smart technical bridges between existing systems to automated publishing processes, Richard has used open source tools following open standards to make Radio New Zealand's web presence a seamless part of the organisation's activities. If you have ever wondered how Radio New Zealand manages to get audio files on their website so quickly after an interview, ask Richard.
Retirement Commission for use of the Drupal framework for the Sorted website
The Retirement Commission's Sorted website is perhaps one of the best known government-funded sites, helping New Zealanders make financial decisions throughout life. What is perhaps less well known is that Sorted runs on the open source platform Drupal, and has done since 2001. More than one in five Kiwis have used Sorted's online calculators and range of online financial planning tools. Drupal provides the flexibility for the Commission to respond readily to changes, such as the KiwiSaver scheme, and is often first to market with new planning tools and information.
Finalists : Open Source Use in Business
Category winner: Egressive/Dave Lane for enabling open source employment in Christchurch
Dave Lane is well known and extremely active in the New Zealand open source scene, particularly in his home town Christchurch. Through Egressive – a company Dave founded way back in 1998 – the brightest and best open source talent in the Christchurch area have been brought together, promoting and supporting open source uptake throughout the region and beyond. As an evangelist in the best sense, Dave puts words into action and continues to make a significant contribution to New Zealand open source uptake.
Silverstripe for business success through open source
Silverstripe has built a successful business through an open source strategy, earning export dollars and employing some twenty people in Wellington. By opening their code to all-comers, Silverstripe have been able to tap into a global pool of interested developers, as well as initiatives like the Google Summer of Code, to extend and enhance the platform. As enthusiastic evangelists for their product, the whole Silverstripe team have raised awareness of this exciting New Zealand open source project both here and overseas.
Amie McCarron for using open source to promote New Zealand artists
As an artist in her own right, Amie was keen to share the knowledge she gained developing her own site using open source technology with her peers. Her Artlist site is one expression of that, providing a free guide to New Zealand artists. She is also enabling individual artists like Moira Marshall to showcase and sell their work online using open source software. Amie tapped into Joomla's global support forums to help throughout the build – illustrating how open source can network people together.
Finalists : Open Source in Education
Hagley College of Computing for demonstrating the value of open source in practice
Hagley College of Computing in Christchurch has been using open source software from Ubuntu desktops to 3D modelling tools since its inception. Challenging the assumption that cost is an indicator of value in the education sector, Hagley's use of open source has spread to the wider Community College, as well as to students' own computers with Ubuntu CDs being picked up from the classroom and installed on machines at home. Students are encouraged to choose the best tools for projects, looking at a range of criteria including feature sets, price, cost of implementation and level of user support.
Category winner: Mahara for a New Zealand led open source eportfolio project
In a knowledge economy, lifelong learning – both online and face-to-face – is increasingly relevant. Mahara is designed to provide people with a way to demonstrate their skills and development to a variety of audiences over time. With blogs, a resume builder and social networking, Mahara puts users in control and in touch with fellow learners, teachers and potential employers. A nationwide Mahara service is already available for schools and tertiary organisations in New Zealand: MyPortfolios.
Te Tuhi Video Game System for turning pictures into games
This project started life as an artwork installation at Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts in Manukau City. Turning drawings on paper into video games, Douglas Bagnall has released Te Tuhi under the GPL and partially ported it to the One Laptop Per Child XO platform. While the project is still a work in progress, it demonstrates to kids of all ages a whole new way to interact and understand the computer. Using Creative Commons sounds, open source tools and running on Linux, Te Tuhi adds to Douglas' portfolio of creative uses of free software.
Docvert/Matthew Holloway for support of the Public Knowledge Project
Docvert takes office documents and quickly turns them into standards-compliant web pages, something that most organisations struggle with everyday. Started by Matthew Holloway, Docvert has been picked up by the US-based Public Knowledge Project, which is dedicated to improving the scholarly and public quality of research. Docvert helps non-technical editors and authors put their work online, significantly increasing global access to knowledge and academic research.
Finalists : Open Source Use for Community Organisations
Cycling Advocates' Network for community advocacy through open source
CAN runs an online community site to connect together over 5000 cycling advocates. Through Digital Strategy funding, CAN is improving access to their extensive library of information, adding social networking and collaboration features, and delivering training to staff and volunteers so they can use the new technology. By choosing the Drupal open source framework, CAN and developers Egressive have been able to start with rich out-of-the-box features and make the best use of the initial government funding. Moreover, the system can be repurposed for other cash-poor social organisations looking to use the power of internet and open source to achieve their goals.
Category winner: FLOSS Manuals for providing free manuals for free and open source software
FLOSS Manuals is the singular vision of Adam Hyde, a New Zealander based in the Netherlands, to make quality end-user manuals freely available for popular open source software. Often less well-served by traditional publishers, FLOSS Manuals fills a need for the type of documentation that supports the uptake of open source software by ordinary, less technical users. The whole project has been run in a thoroughly open-source fashion with regular book sprints, distributed collaboration, an emphasis on quality, and all done using free software. Adam has recently added print-on-demand so you can get any number of paperback copies for your individual use or for group training. FLOSS Manuals is the official repository for Inkscape, OLPC and Sugar documentation.
SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music for using open source to improve access to New Zealand music
SOUNZ promotes New Zealand composers and New Zealand music, providing an extensive array of information and resources online through its recently redeveloped website. Using a powerful classification system few other organisations have successfully implemented, SOUNZ makes it easy to explore the many facets of our rich musical heritage, and to buy or borrow items for pleasure and learning. SOUNZ website and business applications were writing using Ruby on Rails and other open source components, making it possible to package the site for release to the community.
Brenda Wallace for tireless work with open source communities
Brenda's a geek. Passionate about open source; passionate about technology. Whether it's SuperHappyDevHouse, Linuxchix or helping bring the biggest Linux Conference in the southern hemisphere to Wellington, Brenda Wallace is a truly remarkable person. If you don't come across her testing the One Laptop Per Child XO platform at weekend volunteer gatherings in Wellington, you'll find her virtually on Twitter, Flickr, Ohloh, Drupal and countless other support forums, and her own coffee.geek.nz blog. Did I miss anything? Oh yes, she's probably photographing you right now, and wirelessly uploading images to the interwebs.
Finalists : Open Source Use for Infrastructure
Category winner: CityLink for building network capability using open source
Everyone knows that Wellington without CityLink wouldn't be what it is today. What is less well known is that much of the magic that CityLink makes happen here relies on open source products like Zebra, Leaf and Quagga. The rock-solid infrastructure that CityLink provides through WIX and Cafenet is part of the fabric of the local IT industry and wider business community in the capital. CityLink recently connected the 500th building to their network, amongst other things making open source a vital part to the region's current and future economic well-being.
David Brownlie for contributions to infrastructure monitoring
Building a major piece of infrastructure for New Zealand like the KAREN research and education network was never going to be easy. Faced with million dollar quotes for improvements to proprietary monitoring products, David sought and delivered open source solutions at a fraction of the price. With open source monitoring toolsets that surpassed their proprietary equivalents, KAREN users can currently pull 400Mb/s to desktops, opening new opportunities for delivery of research and education across the fattest pipes in New Zealand.
National Broadband Map/State Services Commission for providing a unique national view of broadband supply and demand
The National Broadband Map brings together open source, open standards and open data to establish a unique and valuable resource for broadband planning and investment within New Zealand. All the data that the broadband map collects is freely available through open APIs and is already informing decisions around demand aggregation and priorities for investment. All the code for the project is also freely available for reuse and enhancement.
NZ Open Source Society - Special Awards
State Services Commission