Friday, October 3, 2008

Sol Katz Award 2008

It has come to my attention that Paul Ramsey has become the 2008 winner of the Sol Katz Award. His acceptance speech is available for all those who, like Paul, couldn't attend the awards ceremony during the FOSS4G closing plenary. While it is a great speech, as all of Paul's public addresses are, there are a few issues I take exception to.

Paul refers to himself as a "non-technical member of the open source community". In my time working for Paul I found him to be a strong leader of the projects he was involved in, whether his own (PostGIS or uDig) or an adopted project live UMN MapServer. His vision and drive were great assets to everyone he worked with. But he was never non-technical. I rarely saw him get his hands dirty in the code, but he was always available to help with development problems, discussions of coding practices, technologies and any technical issue that I would care to discuss. Non-coder does not equal non-technical and Paul managed to make his presence known in the business, visionary and technical arenas.

Congratulations Paul. You are indeed in the company of great people, with Frank Warmerdam, Steve Lime and Markus Neteler as the previous recipients. And it's right where you belong.

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