Award for JDS Deployment

As I mentioned before, I attended the black-tie dinner for the UK Linux and Open Source Awards last Wednesday. Plenty of open source communities were represented, usually by people interpreting "black tie" in a very personal way. Alan Cox, for example, was wearing a splendid red hunting jacket, which may have given him the fire to accept his Lifetime Achievement Award with flair to accompany his characteristic humility (when credited with walking an unbeaten path he replied "Whether the path is hard or easy, if you have 10,000 people at your back anybody can walk any path."). There were quite a few people less familiar with open source events as well - I had one person genuinely ask me "what exactly is open source?"

I had been invited to represent the OpenOffice.org community just in case it won the reader-voted "Best Open Source Application" category for which it was a finalist, but was able to sit back and relax as Joomla won that category instead, in a show of public support following their recent rift. However, a diner at my table did win the award for "Best Enterprise Open Source Deployment", and they're a Sun customer - w00t!

Allied Irish Bank were the winners in this category for their deployment of Sun's Java Desktop System. I chatted with the people from their delegation and was impressed by the thoroughness of their design concept. They have a coherent and visionary enterprise architecture which uses non-WS\* web services throughout. It benefits greatly from the transparent modularity of JDS at the desktop, which gives them the flexibility and control they need to meet financial services regulations. They told me that, because JDS is all open source, they can make fine-grained choices that would be almost impossible with close software.

In other words, this isn't just a tactical deployment to force the dominant supplier to reduce their price, nor is it an ideological deployment that will get swept away at the next changing of the guard. It's the best of open source, chosen for its strengths and not its price. They're a worthy winner and I congratulate them.

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