Miguel de Icaza, GNOME, Mono
Compiz Fusion Compiz is the eye candy that everyone has been running this year and that has really opened the doors to innovation on the desktop and what is possible by having a powerful 3D engine drive your desktop. What we have seen so far is only the beginning.
This project, originally created at Novell, has turned into a successful open source effort with many contributors exploring and creating many new effects and understanding what works and what doesnt.
Ruby on Rails It is not a new project, but the growth of this platform for Web development this year continued its quick adoption in the market. It has fascinated countless people who would otherwise hate developing web applications.
Microsoft entrance into OSS with IronRuby (and IronPython) IronRuby is a compiler for the Ruby language that uses the Dynamic Language Runtime from Microsoft and runs on both .NET and Mono. This is the first project in which Microsoft is actually working with the community and taking patches.
Microsoft has released software under open source licenses in the past, but this is the first time that they are actually accepting external contributions. Another step in the right direction.
Bharat Mediratta Founder of the Gallery project, and an engineer at Google.
Bharat Mediratta, Gallery
Choosing his favorite projects is a tough call, Bharat says.
I tend to use open source as a tool, so really the things that I value the most are the ones that make my life easier. Lately the one that is easing my pain the most is Debian. Its packaging system has been a huge help to me in maintaining my servers.
On the desktop I get huge value out of XEmacs and Firefox I spend more time using them than any other tool. In fact it's safe to say that I do 90 percent of my work with XEmacs and Firefox on a Debian box.
Greg Kroah-Hartman A Linux kernel hacker, and the Linux kernel maintainer for PCI, USB, driver core, debugfs, kref, kobject, and the sysfs kernel subsystems.
Greg Kroah-Hartman, Linux kernel
Linux Kernel Well, obviously I would pick this one, but wait, let me justify it...The Linux kernel is one of the biggest open source projects ever. In the past 2 and 1/2 years, over 3,200 different people have contributed code to the project, and it is running along at over 3 different changes per hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That is an incredible number of people and an incredible rate of development. The operating system kernel that these people have created supports more different hardware types and more different processors than any other operating system ever has in the history of computing, scaling from radio-controlled helicopters, cell phones, desktops, servers, and on up to over 80 percent of the TOP 500 world's supercomputers. This is a computer engineering achievement that has never been accomplished before.
Gnu Compiler Collection Sure, people love to make fun of GCC, how it is slow, bloated, and doesn't generate the 'best' code at times. But by doing that, you overlook the huge success that this project has had over the years. No longer is every individual processor company required to staff a large number of compiler developers, but instead, GCC makes it much easier to add support for their new hardware with a very limited amount of resources. It, like the Linux kernel, is a computer engineering marvel, the likes of which we have never seen before. And because it is freely available, it has enabled the creation of open source operating systems. If it were not present, there would not be a Linux kernel, or many of the BSD projects either. Go hug your local GCC developer and tell them how much you appreciate them, they deserve it more than anyone.
Git Git is a distributed source code control system that is used by the Linux kernel and by a wide range of other open and closed source products. It is extremely fast, robust, and powerful. I can't say enough good things about it and cringe whenever I am forced to use something as slow and backwards as CVS or Subversion.