All this week at EclipseZone, we've been focussed on the Eclipse Community Awards. Today we meet Lynn Gayowski from the Eclipse Foundation to find out a little more about the awards and what's involved.
James: Hi Lynn, Could you please introduce yourself?
Lynn:I'm Lynn Gayowski, the Marketing Events Manager for the Eclipse Foundation. I've been with Eclipse for 2 and a half years and work in the Ottawa office in Canada.
James: What is your role with the Community Awards?
Lynn: I'm really just a facilitator for the awards program. I collect the nominations and post them online, but the hard work - choosing the winners - is done by the community. The individual categories are decided by a public vote and the technology categories are decided by a panel of judges.
James: How long have the awards been running?
Lynn: This is the 4th year.
James: There are a lot of nominations this year. Are the awards becoming more popular?
Lynn: I think awareness has grown now that we're in our 4th year. We had more technology nominations than in 2008 or 2007, but it's generally been pretty steady around 60 nominations across the 6 categories each year. I'm always surprised we don't get more nominations for the individual categories, however the lists are always made up of very solid contenders. Any one of the nominees could win, so it keeps the contest exciting.
James: What is the most hotly contested category?
Lynn: That depends on your criteria. The Best Commercial Developer Tool category has the most nominations at 31, but I think the Best Open Source RCP Application category has some of the most interesting products. I think it's going to be very difficult for the judges to pick a winner in both of those categories.
James: How does the voting work? Can anyone vote?
Lynn: For the individual awards, anyone from the Eclipse community can vote. So this includes people who use Eclipse, write plug-ins, participate in Eclipse events or commit code. The online voting ballot asks people for their name, email address and a 1 sentence description of how they're a member of the Eclipse community in order to qualify. That way I can do a manual check to see if anybody is getting their mom to enter votes. Mom votes aren't allowed!
James: For the commercial awards, is there a large panel of judges?
Lynn: We have 2 judging panels. The commercial panel has 7 judges who are Eclipse-oriented editors. The open source panel has 9 judges made up of Eclipse project leads. I had so many volunteers for the open source panel this year, I had to cap it at 9, which is a wonderful problem to have.
The judges spend a lot of time evaluating submissions so I'm very grateful to all of them for helping. We don't reveal who the judges are until after the winners are announced, so I unfortunately can't give them proper credit right now. I'll make sure to post their names later on though.
James: When will the awards be presented? Is there a ceremony?
Lynn: The winners are announced at a ceremony at EclipseCon in Santa Clara, CA on March 23.
James: What do the winners actually get?
Lynn: The technology winners compete for glory, bragging rights and a trophy. The individual winners get some prizes in addition to the community recognition and trophy. This year Nokia has generously donated mobile phones for each of the winners plus we have Eclipse jackets from the Foundation.