Official name: Hamakor - Israeli Society for Free and Open Source Software (המקור - עמותה ישראלית לתוכנה חופשית ולקוד־מקור פתוח) is an Israeli non-profit dedicated to the advancement of free and open source software in Israel. Usually just referred to as Hamakor.
Hamakor was founded in January 2003. As of 2005 it has about 200 registered members. Its primary primary purpose is the somewhat axiomatic charter of giving an official face to the decentralized Open Source community where such a face is needed.
Despite that idea being around for some time, the final push to form the actual organization was a desire by Gilad Ben-Yossef, circa July of 2002, to see Revolution OS in Israel. It turned out that the only way to see the movie was to rent a cinema hall and pay the distributer. Gilad decided open the event to the public, and charge a small fee for entrance to cover costs. The event was labeled "August Penguin", and took place during the first Friday of August, 2002. The event was a financial success, in that an extra 2000 NIS were recorded after expenses. Gilad pledged to use that money to start the official organization. This also affected Hamakor's charter, adding to it the capacity to form as a recognized money handler on behalf of the community for organizing events or any other monetary activity.
The original name as submitted to the registrar of non-profits was "Hamakor - The Israeli Society for Free and Open Source Software". The registrar stroke down the "the", claiming Hamakor has no right to claim exclusivity.
To move from a friend status to a full member status one has to show some activity promoting free/open source software. The definition of "some" has changed over time. During some periods the board required actually writing non-trivial amounts of code, while in others the board deemed helping a friend install Linux on his computer enough.
In most cases, almost anyone who wished to become a full member could do so.
In 2005, the conference made an attempt to make the conference more aimed at the professional audience. As part of it, it was moved to Thursday (Friday is part of the weekend in Israel). In 2006, the conference was moved back to Friday, but due to scheduling problems happened on the second Friday of August. The conference is no longer about watching a movie, and has lectures from various sources. The conference also accepts sponsors, with the Israeli Internet Association being the most consistent one over the years.
Since Hamakor operates with a balanced budget, and since the above activity is reactive in nature, some feel that Hamakor should take it on itself to do more. To date, Hamakor has not managed to overcome the gap between the centralized way a legal entity must act and the decentralized way a community acts. Hamakor's action are based solely on volunteers, and as such, is time constrained. Hamakor was involved in several initiatives that were attempted, but either never managed to make a real difference, or otherwise are taking years to show actual results. One such initiative was forming Linux based classrooms in schools - several schools came along, Hamakor managed to get equipment donated (or, in some cases, bought it), but lack of local volunteers made the project grind to halt almost completely.
Another aspect of this contradiction is the fact that while a lot of free software activity takes place in Israel, it is not directly Hamakor's doing. This is not a problem if Hamakor is limited to its original objectives, but when these objectives are expanded, resource limitation becomes a visible problem.
Previous Hamakor prize winners include:
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