Linux luminaries to judge Euro Open Source awards

Linus and friends will judge who's the best among European open source players

Heavyweight Linux programmers are to award European companies with prizes for helping the cause of open source software in a newly announced set of awards.

The first European Open Source Awards, sponsored by Linux hardware specialist VA Linux will be announced at the Paris LinuxExpo in February 2001.

A panel of eminent experts will judge the awards. These are to include the founder of the Linux operating system Linus Torvalds, the director of Linux International Jon "maddog" Hall and chief technical officer for SuSE Linux, Dirk Hohndel. The panel will be chaired by the president of VA Linux, Larry Augustine.

Open source software means software for which the source code is freely accessible. This type of software is typically released under a licence allowing it to reproduced and altered free of charge, so long as it is reproduced under the same agreement. The most common of these licences is the GNU General Public Licence(GPL), which controls the distribution of Linux.

The new awards reflect the importance of Europe to the development of open source technologies, says Augustin. "Europe has a strong open source tradition, with many talented developers and vendors who are actively contributing to its growth," he says in a release. "Together with other Linux companies and software developers, we'd like to recognise the achievements and contributions of some of the most brilliant minds of the IT world through the European Open Source Award."

The top prize, for Outstanding Contribution to Open Source, is worth $25,000 (£17,132). Other categories include Independent Software Vendor of the Year and the Enterprise Award.

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