The winners in three categories, each recognizing exemplary achievements in the field of free software, are GNU Jami, Eli Zaretskii, and Tad (SkewedZeppelin).
Eli Zaretskii was this year's winner of the Award for the Advancement of Free Software, which is an award given to an individual who has made a great contribution to the progress and development of free software through activities that accord with the spirit of free software. Zaretskii is currently co-maintainer of GNU Emacs, one of the flagship programs of the GNU operating system. He has been a contributor to Emacs for more than thirty years, and as co-maintainer, coordinates the work of more than two hundred active contributors. During Zaretskii's tenure as co-maintainer, the Emacs development community has implemented several important new features, including native compilation of the editor's Emacs Lisp backbone into machine code.
In his recorded message in honor of Zaretskii, Richard Stallman, original author of GNU Emacs and Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project said: "The first GNU package that we released, the first one that people actually started to use, was GNU Emacs in early 1985. For many years, I was the principal maintainer of GNU Emacs, but then others came along to do the work, and I haven't been heavily involved in Emacs development for many, many years. Nowadays, our principal maintainer of Emacs is extremely diligent and conscientious and has brought about a renaissance in new features and new packages added to Emacs, and the result is very impressive. So I'm happy to give the Free Software Award to Eli Zaretskii, principal maintainer of GNU Emacs. Thank you for your work."