I first appreciated the importance of awards over fifty years ago, as a child growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
My mother, Janet Shields — May Her Memory Be A Blessing — was then employed by the local theater chain, and so took great interest in the Academy Awards. I recall listening to some of them on the radio (we did not then have a TV), observing her interest and so became quite interested in the awards.
I have come to appreciate in the decades since then that awards are of value not in the recipient but in the namer. For after all, the recipient’s work stands on its own merit, or lack of same, and thus needs no “award” to give credit where credit is due. 
Awards do not create truth. They only attempt to recognize it.
And so, to give credit where credit is due, I have created my own awards as part of this blog, and thus have just announced my first two “Man Of The Year” awards.
By the way, the award for 2008 will go to a woman, not a man. I have one such woman in mind, one who has been a friend for close to forty years, but she has received so many honors that I am looking forward to naming someone else a few months down the road, and I look forward to starting the search for that as yet unnamed recipient going forward.
I am a programmer through and through, and thus announce in this post my own choice of software that I believe merits recognition. Though this award may not mean much to you, it means a great deal to me, as I award it based on my experience of forty years as a professional programmer, and also a programmer who acquired a Ph.D. along the way.
It is thus with great pleasure that I am pleased to announce that the recipient of TWWP’s Software Of The Year Award for 2007 is WordPress.
WordPress is a fabulous piece of software, so good that it has become one of the few programs that I wished I had written myself, because I know that had I done so I would have received universal acclaim.
I have used WordPress for hundreds of hours over the past year writing this blog. It has been a constant companion, one that has never betrayed my trust, and one that has not only amazed me by its quality and reliability but has also demonstrated each and every day that I have used it what can be accomplished by elegance in design.
Moreover, WordPress is not just yet another software package, but a community and a company based on that community.
I am confident that both the xompany and the WordPress community will be with us for decades to come, so much so that I am basing my own volunteer efforts to honor our Fallen Soldiers and their survivorrs entirely on WordPress. I also plan to rely on WordPress to maintain this blog and my other web-based activities for the years left to me.
I am so impressed by WordPress that I would rely on it if it were proprietary, as is the case with vendors such as IBM, Adobe, and Microsoft.
Yet WordPress is open-source. Indeed, I have found it to be the best web-based application I have yet used.
Though WordPress deserves this personal award on its merits, I take special pleasure in that it is open-source.
I concluded a recent post, Linux At Your Service: The Linux Service Agreement, in which I made mention of the remarkable reliability of Linux and IBM’s hardware, as follows:
I have told you about several incidents where people have been woken in the middle of the night to be informed of a problem.
I am sure that Linus Torvalds, the CEO of Linux, and Sam Palmisano, IBM’s current CEO, have also received such calls.
But I doubt they get many such calls these days. They can go to sleep with such confidence in their product that they know they will sleep like a baby, for after decades of work they are no longer babes in the woods.
I conclude this post by noting that software is inexorably moving to the web, and as it does so, especially as open-source, then the powers-that-be will face a great challenge:
Dear Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer,
Software is moving to the web, much of it as open-source.
You know that, I know that.
I also know that you go to bed each night knowing of the nightmare headed your way, a good example of which is WordPress.
I know also that as you try to fall asleep you are well aware that there are thousands of programmers hunched over their terminals –across the globe –doing their best to make Linux and other open-source projects better and better, each and every day.
No sweet dreams for you.
I hope the sweat is as cold as cold can be.
1. I have on occasion received an email from an IBM marketeer urging me to cast a vote for an award, to help IBM receive some recognition. I have ignored all such pleas.