Judging the response from community well wishers, I feel very strongly about the competition and I think I would like to hold this bi-annually. Give developers a good chunk of six months to write their code and then reward their outstanding work with recognition and some prizes. If we decide to follow that schedule, we could start a new competition at the end of this one (say in June) and let it carry over till the end of the year. The pluginblog and pluginwiki could become permanent as a place for plugin developers to get instant recognition by a very interested audience and it could also become the launching pad for sponsors and clients looking to advertise with this audience. Prizes for the competition would be the only weakness of this plan. In that respect I would like to invite ideas and offers from the community.
The other weakness of a “competition” is competitiveness. Openess within the community is the most important rule and collaboration and sharing of ideas and code is the backbone of this community. Plugin developers have to realize that being secretive and fear of their work being stolen is ill-founded. It makes you look greedy, does little good for the community and is very antagonistic. Please share with everyone, ask for help with the proper attitude and remember that even if your idea is not the first on the block, you will always have a place in the community. I can only provide examples from my experience but my “Contextual search” hack is one that comes to mind. By the time I had actually written the code, at least two others already existed. I apologized for the duplication but was never dissappointed with my code. I keep trying to impress upon people that the prize and the competition are just incentives for a greater good, which is an open welcoming community that excels in collaboration and prides in innovation. I sincerely hope that this message is not lost in our quest for recognition and excellence. I thank Matt, Owen, Podz, Craig, Carthik, Skippy, Chris, Dougal, Alex and many others for being the pillars of this community and reminding us of the importance of collaboration and openness.
I have gotten some very good feedback, suggestions, offers and encouragement. Thanks goes out to everyone for their interest. Please feel free to email me or leave comments with ideas, suggestions and criticism.
PS: Have YOU gotten your prize donation in yet?