D-Trace and The 2006 Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award

PR Newswire reports "Dynamic Tracing (DTrace) technology, a key feature in the freely available open source Solaris (TM) 10 Operating System (OS), has been honored with the top prize in The Wall Street Journal's 2006 Technology Innovation Awards." Look at  http://www.sun.com/software/opensource/ for more information.

Michael Totty of The Wall Street Journal reported the award in "The Winners are....":
Bryan Cantrill and a team of engineers at Sun Microsystems Inc. have devised a way to diagnose misbehaving software quickly and while it's still doing its work. While traditional trouble-shooting programs can take several days of testing to locate a problem, the new technology, called DTrace, is able to track down problems quickly and relatively easily, even if the cause is buried deep in a complex computer system.

This is not a first for Sun:

The DTrace trouble-shooting software from Sun was chosen as the Gold winner in The Wall Street Journal's 2006 Technology Innovation Awards contest, the second time in three years that a Sun entry has won the top award. The panel of judges, representing industry as well as research and academic institutions, selected Gold, Silver and Bronze award winners and cited one technology for an Honorable Mention.

And it has not been an easy run, unfair or trivial result:

For the awards, now in their sixth year, judges considered novel technologies from around the world in several categories: medicine and medical devices, wireless, security, consumer electronics, semiconductors and others.

A Wall Street Journal editor initially screened more than 600 applications. The judges then considered 121 of the entries, selecting 12 category winners and 37 runners-up. Among the category winners are the top three award winners.

In selecting winners, judges considered whether the technology truly represents a breakthrough from conventional methods, rather than just an incremental improvement. (One of the judges, Robert Drost, won the Gold award for Sun Microsystems in 2004; he recused himself from voting on Sun's DTrace software.)

The Silver award went to HalioVolt for a light-weight solar energy panel and the Bronze to Pfizer and Nektar for inhalable insulin.

For the working of the Award committee and an assessment of the submissions this year, listen to the podast from The Wall Street Journal, in which WSJ reporter John Leger interviews one of the judges, William Webb, head of research and development at the U.K.'s Office of Communications.

The chart of all winners can be found here.

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