SourceForge has been running a community-driven awards process over the last month, trying to discover the top open-source projects. On Friday, the winners were announced. The ones selected say a lot about those who frequent SourceForge. But before I get into that, here are the winners:
- Best Project: 7-Zip
- Best New Project: eMule and Launchy
- Best Tool or Utility for Developers: TortoiseSVN
- Best Project for the Enterprise: Firebird
- Best Project for Gamers: ScummVM
- Best Project for Multimedia: Audacity
- Best Project for Communications: phpBB
- Best User Support: Firebird
- Best Technical Design: 7-Zip
- Most Collaborative Project: Azureus
- Best Tool or Utility for SysAdmins: phpMyAdmin
What do these projects tell us about the SourceForge community?
- Some of the best open-source work happens on Windows. Really. 7-Zip and Launchy are both Windows projects.
- SourceForge developers have a tenuous grip on what "enterprise" means. I've never (ever) seen Firebird in an enterprise deployment. Ever. Ever.
- They like to, um, "share" things. Like songs. Movies. Etc. Both Azureus and eMule are generally used for "borrowing" others' content. I'm the first to say that media companies need to figure out new ways to get paid for their content. But I would have liked to have seen other projects higher on the list of top projects.
- Simplicity is good. Most of these projects perform one small function very well. SourceForge developers may be looking to open source to solve niche problems for themselves.
- And did I mention that SourceForge users are developers? These projects tend to skew geeky. But then, that also comes down to the categories picked.
All in all, a good list, and a nice complement to O'Reilly's OSCON Open Source Awards winners, which are individuals, not projects. The only one I've used is Audacity, and it is awesome for creating ring tones.