The 2011 Open Source Awards

This month, Packt Publishing began accepting nominations for its 2011 Open Source Awards. Breaking tradition, I've declined the invitation this year to be a member of the judging panel of this award (I've been a judge for the past four years). Regardless of my lack of participation as a judge, I still think this a great award and merits mention here on my blog.

Although there can be some controversy of declaring a "best CMS" in any award, I think Packt has done a great job in helping promote those open source applications that become a nominee for this award. I know for myself, I've found great value in the "most promising" category for identifying up and coming open source projects. In fact, I'll even argue that there are a few content management projects out there that still would be unknown if it wasn't for the Packt Open Source Award. Prize money alone given by Packt to the various open source project winners since 2006 tops $100,000.

Julian Copes from Packt announced the start of awards in late July with promise of improvements and new categories for this year's version of the Awards.

Packt will be launching its annual Open Source Awards in 2011 and once again we have worked to make the Awards bigger and better. Staying true to Packt’s values for the Awards of encouraging, supporting, recognizing and rewarding Open Source projects, we’ve introduced and altered categories to allow a greater scope of projects to take part.

We have given a lot of thought to the changes we intend to put in place, and we feel this will enable Packt to further its support for projects both new and old.

So what are the changes?

Firstly, I would like to assure you all that there will not be a huge change and the 2011 Open Source Awards will be ran in similar way to previous awards. The Open Source CMS Award will continue to be a mainstay, where, CMSes contest to be named the best in the field. This year we expect an even tighter contest with the former nominees featured in the now defunct Hall of Fame CMS category entered in the Open Source CMS Award for a fight to the finish. We hope that members of the Open Source community provide their support and help in deciding the winner as all CMSes have grown substantially in the past 12 months.

In other words, this gives Drupal, Joomla!, WordPress, and CMS Made Simple a chance to once again compete with all the other CMS in the Open Source CMS Awards. I like that because people were either beginning to think that those CMS listed in the "Hall of Fame" were either unbeatable by the new comers or these Hall of Famers were old applications that have been moved to pasture. Either way, the intention of the Hall of Fame category was never quite understood by the voting public.

This year the award categories are:

  • Open Source CMS
  • Open Source Mobile Toolkits and Libraries
  • Most Promising Open Source project
  • Open Source Business Applications
  • Open Source JavaScript Libraries
  • Open Source Multimedia Software

The first three categories listed above are "returning" categories for the award, while the final three categories listed are new to the awards. The Open Source Awards is split into two main stages. Firstly, nominations begin on 1st August 2011. This will be your chance to put forward your favorite Open Source projects for each category to grow through to the final voting stage. The finalists in the voting stage will be announced at the beginning of September; and the Voting stage begins on 19th September 2011. Voting closes on 31st October 2011, with the winners announced throughout the week commencing 7th November 2011.

For additional information on this award, you can read Julian's announcement of the award as well as the official award page found at Packt Publishing's website. As always, I have no financial affiliation to Packt Publishing. In other words, I'm promoting this award because I truly believe the award is a benefit to open source communities and the projects these communities support..