2003 Editors' Choice Awards

When time for the Editors' Choice awards comes around, we ask for suggestions from all our columnists and contributing editors. This year, we have some familiar names among the winners and a few newcomers to Linux.
Development Tool

Perl 5.8.0 www.perl.org

Reuven Lerner covers a different web development tool every month but keeps coming back to good old Perl. In the new version, he writes, “Most important is its support for threading and Unicode, both of which will help to propel Perl forward for years to come.” We like browsing the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN) for modules that empower a short script to do exactly what you want.

Database

PostgreSQL www.postgresql.org

Reuven also is a fan of PostgreSQL, a database that makes its fair share of appearances in our pages. “The PostgreSQL team has demonstrated that it is possible to produce a database with the price and ease of administration of MySQL, but with the feature set of Oracle. The only real competition is Firebird and SAP DB, both of which might make serious inroads in 2003–2004”, he writes.

The new 7.3 version offers table functions (functions that return multiple rows), schemas and prepared queries, as well as Unicode by default, improved logging and nonlocking vacuuming of tables.

Marcel points out that “What we need, however, is a dead-simple database application for new users who might simply want to create a Christmas card list or whatever. Just because we can create a full-blown relational SQL database and have it for free, doesn't mean it is always what the user needs.”

Management or Administration Software

Webmin www.webmin.com

Marcel calls Webmin “a wonderful, low-resource tool that crosses distros and operating systems” and praises the integrated SSH application. Webmin standard modules can be used to administer any server software you can imagine, from Apache to voice mail to WU-FTP. Third-party modules make it easy for ISPs to delegate mail and virtual web host administration to customers.

Mobile Device

Lindows Mobile PC www.lindows.com/lindows_feature_preinstall.php

Finally, a notebook computer with Linux pre-installed. Doc Searls would be happy with this box, based on a VIA processor and equipped with 256MB of RAM and all the expected extras, if he could get it away from his six-year-old kid.

Game

Frozen Bubble www.frozen-bubble.org

Move along, people, nothing to see here, back to work. This could be the next Tetris. You won't often hear this from us, but whoever ported this thing to Microsoft Windows and Mac OS, thank you, because now it won't be only Linux users' productivity down /dev/crapper. New in version 1.0: 100—yes, 100—levels and a level editor.

Just this one screenshot, then Frozen Bubble is off our computers for good.

Book

Understanding the Linux Kernel, 2nd Edition by Daniel P. Bovet and Marco Cesati www.oreilly.com/catalog/linuxkernel2

This is a good one to keep handy if you get stuck on something in Kernel Korner, or if you dig building custom kernels and want to know how things work. We won't say which of the contributing editors voted for their own books.

Web Site

Linux Weekly News lwn.net

Everybody's doing metanews—selecting the best articles from every news site—but Linux Weekly News does a good job of filtering the important Linux news from the drivel. And, they offer original content on diverse topics such as security alerts and kernel hacking—something to keep you happy between issues of Linux Journal.

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