Samba developer wins annual Free Software award

By   |  January 27, 2006

Andrew “Tridge” Tridgell was named this week as the winner of the annual Free Software Foundation award for his work as originator and developer of the Samba project. Samba reverse-engineered Microsoft’s version of the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol, which is used for file-sharing and print services.

Tridgell was presented with the award with Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman this week.

Samba enables free operating systems to fit into Microsoft-based environments, encouraging greater use and adoption of free software. Samba has been implemented on millions of servers throughout the world as a replacement for Microsoft servers.

Tridgell also released rsync, a highly respected remote file-distribution system, and contributed code to the Linux kernel.

In 2005, Tridgell wrote a free software client to interoperate with BitKeeper, a proprietary revision control system used at the time by the Linux kernel developers. His reverse-engineering efforts led BitMover Inc. to remove permission for the use of BitKeeper, paving the way for a free software replacement. The Linux kernel is now being developed using a revision control system called Git, begun by Linus Torvalds and licensed under the GPL.

Every year, three finalists are nominated for the award by the free software community. This year’s other two finalists were Harmut Pilch, recognised as founder of Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) and for his leadership during the fight against the Software Patent Directive in Europe, and Theodore T’so, recognised for his work on file systems and the Linux kernel.

Previous winners of the Free Software Award include SA-born Theo de Raadt for his work on OpenBSD, Alan Cox for his contributions to GNU/Linux and Lawrence Lessig, the founder of Creative Commons.

The Free Software Foundation sponsors the annual Award for the Advancement of Free Software, to recognise and honour those that have made a great contribution to the progress and development of free software.

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