2004 Readers' Choice Awards

We know the timing of this article puts us at a disadvantage. It's November of a US presidential election year, and it's hard for our Readers' Choice awards to compete. But, we know you've been waiting to find out whether C beat C++ for Favorite Programming Language and where Gentoo fell in the top three in the Favorite Distribution category. It's time for the awards.

Favorite E-Mail Client
  1. Mozilla

  2. Ximian Evolution

  3. KMail

Once again, the top three choices in this category were GUI-based clients. The only difference between this year's top three and last year's is the order: Mozilla jumped to first place from third, Evolution dropped to second and KMail dropped to third. The fifth-place finisher came from the write-in votes—the new Mozilla Thunderbird was only a few votes shy of fourth-place mutt this year.

Favorite Distribution
  1. Debian GNU/Linux

  2. Mandrakelinux

  3. Gentoo

Debian won first place for the second year in a row, picking up almost 300 more votes than second-place Mandrakelinux. Last year's number two, Red Hat, fell to fourth this year, as Gentoo cracked the top three to come in third. The most popular write-in vote was Red Hat's all-free, community-oriented Fedora, coming in at number eight.

Favorite Desktop Workstation
  1. Homemade

  2. HP xw8200 Linux Workstation

  3. Monarch Athlon 64 System Special

Seventy-five percent of voters agreed with the sentiments of the reader who voted for his “bastard child of desire and affordability”, the ever-popular homemade desktop workstation. Like proud parents rattling off the list of talents and skills their offspring possess, voters wrote in the entire list of components in their homemade systems. Other write-in voters echoed the opinion of LJ contributing editor Greg Kroah-Hartman, who selected the Apple Power Mac G5, well supported in Linux, as his desktop of choice in this year's Editors' Choice Awards.

Favorite Database
  1. MySQL v4.0

  2. PostgreSQL

  3. Oracle 9i DB

This year's top three favorite databases were a repeat of last year's top three. Although the Editors picked PostgreSQL as their favorite back in August, readers selected MySQL over PostgreSQL by a 2 to 1 ratio. Combined, MySQL and PostgreSQL own 78% of the votes. Add in Oracle 9i and that percentage climbs to 83%. So what else are readers using for their database work? SQLite, GemStone/S and Firebird picked up less than a hundred votes apiece, and Versant was the most popular write-in vote.

Favorite LJ Column
  1. Cooking with Linux

  2. Kernel Korner

  3. Paranoid Penguin

Ah, Marcel. Like Susan Sarandon, David Bowie and '02 Bordeaux, Cooking with Linux columnist Marcel Gagnékeeps getting better with age. Whether he's showing us a new game, recommending a lovely Australian red or demonstrating a little monitoring GUI, he's always supplying us with useful information in fun ways.

Most Indispensable Linux Book
  1. Linux in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition, Ellen Siever, et al.

  2. Running Linux, 4th Edition, Matt Welsh, et al.

  3. Advanced UNIX Programming, 2nd Edition, Marc Rochkind

I was beginning to think I'd never see a new title in the top three spots in the book category—just advancing edition numbers. But after five-plus years, we finally have a new one. Advanced UNIX Programming by Marc J. Rochkind landed in third place this year. Yes, it's a second edition of a book originally published in 1985, but the content is mostly new. The most popular write-in vote continued to be man pages.

Favorite Backup Utility
  1. tar

  2. Amanda

  3. Arkeia Network Backup v5.2

For another year, tar was by far the most popular backup utility, gathering votes from 65% of readers who responded. Amanda came in a distant second, garnering 5% of all votes. On the write-in side, rsync took the top spot. After that, it was a onesy-twosy game of Bacula, personal shell scripts and proprietary offerings. This is weird, though: no one said backups are for wimps.



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Alexei A. Korolev's picture


I'm pretty sure that gentoo is #1 now. Is there 2007 award for compare?

Very nice article. My

Lip Plumper's picture

My favorite distribution - gentoo(ubuntu?) :)
I think the future for Linux and *nix-software. As for DB - MySQL + Apache + PHP(or IIS+ASP for win. ;) - classic version :)
PS> Very nice article.

Combined, MySQL and

Gerden Smith's picture

Combined, MySQL and PostgreSQL own 70% of the votes.

The GIMP won almost 70% of

bomar's picture

The GIMP won almost 70% of the votes...again.

Combined, MySQL and

Gerden Smith's picture

Combined, MySQL and PostgreSQL own 65% of the votes.

HP claimed first and second

blog's picture

HP claimed first and second place for a combined 35% of all votes in this category. Last year's first-place finisher, the Altix 3000, fell to third this year. .

He says that sites that have

tram's picture

He says that sites that have ugly designs are well known to pull more revenue, be more sticky, build better brands, and generally be more fun to participate in, than sites with beautiful designs."

Remember its not design the

Israel's picture

Remember its not design the people want when visiting a website! They want functions, things to know or buy, information. So a good working website with information, easy access and good products or good prices and lousy design is better than the one with billiant design, but without information, or bad products.

I have a request....

Omair Akhter's picture

Please any one who make this journal please if you will give some sites related to that top rated freeware to download i will be very thankful to you...
Or any one who know those site's addresses please send me e mail..
Love Pakistan!


Anonymous's picture

I cant believe xmms is #1

Anonymous's picture

xmms is totally outdated. It's a has been. The only people who still use xmms are clueless newbies who don't know any better.

Beep Media Player is by far superior to xmms.

It may be old, but not deprec

Anonymous's picture

It may be old, but not deprecated. BMP is a nice attempt, but so far has some apparent bugs that need addressing before I would consider using it regularly. XMMS is rock-solid and stable for all those hours of uninterrupted music pleasure while sitting behind a text editor with your C compiler in hand.

...me and myself?

Anonymous2's picture

...me too, but your iP is logged anyway...;-) - if this blog is hosted by a linux server!