2000 Readers' Choice Awards

Enough about us already; what do you think?

Roll out the red carpet, it's time to announce the winners of the 2000 Linux Journal Readers' Choice Awards. After another explosive year, the hype and trendiness have cleared to reveal (as we knew it would) that Linux is a serious contender in almost every market. Although some speculate that the development of all things Linux has settled down, we know the revolution is gaining breadth and speed. While we all look forward to the new applications, devices and services on the horizon, these awards are an opportunity to appreciate what we already have. Judging by this year's list of choices (the longest ever), not to mention all those write-ins, we have a lot. To get an idea of what voters said, I've included some quotes for each category.

Over 4,000 readers voted in 24 categories on everything from favorite programming language to favorite game. What overall moral can we discern from this year's responses? The percentage of voters with fervent opinions is directly proportional to those with caffeine addictions. Coincidence...I don't think so.

Favorite Distribution: Red Hat Linux

“I love them all.”

Red Hat Linux regains the top spot, the first time since 1997, with over twice the votes of the second-place distribution, SuSE. Mandrake doubles its percentage from last year to just over 14%, placing it third. Last year's winner, Debian GNU/Linux, falls to fourth place. Slackware has a respectable showing with 8.5% of the total vote. The most popular write-ins are FreeBSD and “roll my own”.

Favorite Office Suite: StarOffice

“StarOffice but quickly becoming KOffice.”

With over 63% of the votes, StarOffice is the clear winner; WordPerfect comes in second with only 12%. The office suite is a sore spot for many Linux users, as shown by the write-in comments. Quite a few voters apologize before picking Microsoft Office as their favorite, and almost as many decry, “None, they all suck.” Emacs, vi and clones, and GNOME Office Suite all make write-in appearances.

Favorite Desktop Environment: KDE

“Command line.”

While some proclaimed KDE dead with the announcement of the GNOME Foundation this past August, LJ readers chose KDE as their favorite desktop environment for the third year in a row. With 400 fewer votes, GNOME takes second place. Window Maker and Enlightenment are only 40 votes apart, but neither received more than 9.7%.

Favorite Word Processor: StarOffice

“WP8, only not that Windows junk.”

StarOffice claims a resounding victory in the word processor voting, racking up almost twice as many votes as its nearest competitor, WordPerfect. After those two, however, the results split into many processors with a few votes each, suggesting that this is one of the more personal categories, where everyone has an old favorite.

Favorite Text Editor: vi and clones

“Elvis—so good it deserves its own category!”

If people are loyal to their old favorites in any category, it's got to be this one. vi and clones, a broad list, is once again your favorite text editor, with almost 40% of the total votes. Emacs are popular in all their forms, Gnu Emacs, X Emacs and the LaTeX+Emacs combo. Some write-ins express a desire to see some vi clones, like Elvis and VIM, given their own, separate listings. Maybe next year.

Most Indispensable Linux Book: Running Linux

“What are these book things you refer to?”

“The whole O'Reilly series—life without them would be a disaster!”

Running Linux, by Matt Welsh, takes first place and Linux in a Nutshell, by Ellen Siever et al, takes second, in a reversal of last year's top two books. The margin was close though, with only 34 votes separating them. Looking at the complete list of vote-getters, the most extensive list for any category, many books appear indispensable to LJ readers. But not everyone is an avid Linux book reader; numerous write-ins show up for man pages and on-line documentation.