Final Voting in 2005 Readers' Choice Awards

It's time to cast your final votes for this year's favorites.

The final round of voting in the 2005 Linux Journal Readers' Choice awards begins today, June 30. The official final ballot is available here.

The final ballot is based on the results of two previous rounds of open voting, in which write-in votes were accepted in every category. The top two vote-getters in each category have made it to the final ballot. In categories were the vote totals were close, an additional one or two nominees also made it to the official ballot.

As with previous rounds, final round voting is taking place by e-mail. The official ballot contains rules for how to vote for your favorite in each category. We require plain text e-mail for votes, so no HTML or attachments. Send your completed ballots to

We are taking reasonable precautions to make sure there's only one vote per e-mail address. We are going to count the last vote per address, so if you make a mistake, simply send in a new version.

The deadline for voting in the final round is July 28, 2005. So click here to access the final ballot, choose your favorites and mail the ballot back to us at

The winners of the 2005 Linux Journal Readers' Choice Awards will be announced in the November 2005 issue of the magazine.



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Disastrous Paucity of Options

Anonymous's picture

The approach taken in pruning the options strikes me as disastrous.

How can they consider the list of distributions as legitimate if it doesn't include at least some of (Debian|Slackware|SuSE)?

And limiting backup tools to rsync and tar? Idiocy. The list of "office programs" seems ridiculous, too. And frankly I wouldn't vote for *any* of the "programming languages" listed. (I happen not to use any of them...)

It seems entertaining that the set of possibly-popular CPU architectures doesn't happen to include IA-32, of which there are more boxes flying off shelves than for anything else.

The interplay of rules seem not outrageous, for the most part, but for the final round to leave out most of the distributions in common use and such seems just silly.

Hopefully they'll notice this phenomenon and have a more realistic scheme next year...

Always ice skating uphill.

Anonymous's picture

Are you fscking kidding me? Hey guys it's 2005. How about a web form to take this survey? This "email us back the lines you don't want" stuff is just stupid. WTF?! And you wonder why Linux gets a bad reputation as being clunky and hard to use... wow. I'm flabberghasted.

Re: Always ice skating uphill.

Anonymous's picture

I'd imagine that email was chosen in an attempt to prevent voter fraud. It's a decent idea.
Using this as an example of why GNU/Linux has a reputation of being "clunky and hard to use" is just stupid. You must be a 'fscking' Redmond operative ... take your FUD elsewhere.
And you misspelled flabbergasted.

voting sdlBasic

Paulo Silva's picture

for example, i can't vote or nominate sdlBasic
(for example, would be very interesting seeing and article or critical note on Linux Journal about sdlBasic, since it has indeed quality for it)

Why is it that all the people

Anonymous's picture

Why is it that all the people who complain about the choices in the final round don't mention voting in the previous rounds?

Re: Why is it that all the people

Will Duncin's picture

I agree fully. It looks to me, that everybody is waking up in the final round and has to complain about something 8-)))))

Peculiar voting system

Paul Tansom's picture

OK, I didn't vote in any previous rounds, and won't be voting in this one - so no bias there :) I'm curious as to why some categories have 3 or 4 candidates where others have only 2 - it would seem to me to make sense to have the same number for each. There's some odd candidates missing, but I guess they fell in the earlier rounds - much like tennis when a top seed falls to a lower seed in the early rounds really, you don't necessarily get to find out who is really best, just who has the optimum combination of luck and skill for this year!

On particular item that caught my attention in the voting file was this:

If you vote for more than one item in a category per round, we will count the LAST one

Very poor for accuracy, since if somebody fouls up a voting paper for some reason the candidate at the bottom of the list manages an extra vote by default - hence being at the bottom of the list gives you an advantage, which follows on to projects with a name starting with X have an advantage over those starting with A for example - instantly invalidated all rounds and the final results to my mind!

I posted the "Major disappoin

B.'s picture

I posted the "Major disappointment" comment, and believe it or not, Yes, I voted in both preliminary rounds, but still was amazed by how narrow the final ballot was. Compare this earlier ballot to the current Final Ballot. The preliminary ballot would be a much better ballot than the final one, that's for sure, since it represents a wider range of choices.

My main point is that this new voting approach is terrible. I don't know how many votes were received during the first 2 rounds, but I doubt that they would be statistically significant. It would be a shame if, say, Debian was eliminated from the Best Distro category during Round 1 because it only received 7 votes out of 63, but CentOS received 9. Would Linux Journal be willing to publish the vote counts in each category, for both preliminary rounds?


Anonymous's picture

It's easy to complain when your favorite distro isn't in there. Had it been listed for you, we wouldn't have to hear all this crying. Unfortunately, this is how VOTING works. You vote, and if your guy doesn't make it, it's because not enough people voted for it. I suggest that people who dont like democracy move to another country!

Major disappointment

B.'s picture

Sorry Linux Journal but I think you blew it here. The problem is not so much the entries that do appear on the ballot, but rather the entries that DON'T appear. It's like if Car & Driver magazine had a "Best Manufacturer" award but you could only vote for Subaru or Honda, with everyone else out of the running. No offense, but I think it's clear that this new voting process doesn't work: just look at the "Best Distro" category as proof. Unfortunately, although I'd like to vote, I can't, because there are too many award categories where my choice for the "Best" doesn't even appear. Please reconsider this Final Ballot. Thanks.


Anonymous's picture

This is a joke.
Kontact as office program, c'mon !
And the distro list, what's the deal?

This can't be taken seriously

> And the distro list, what's

Anonymous's picture

> And the distro list, what's the deal?

Quote: "The top two vote-getters in each category have made it to the final ballot."

Vote Inkscape

Inkscape's picture

If I voted already in the prevoius rounds do I need to vote again in this round?

I would guess so.

Anonymous's picture

I would guess so.


Anonymous's picture

Yes, you do have to vote in the final round for your vote to count.

Mixed up categories?

Anonymous's picture

Kontact in the "office program" category competing against!? Shouldn't it be in the e-mail client category or a to be founded one for Groupware together with Evolution?

While I recognize that trying

Anonymous's picture

While I recognize that trying to include all contenders in any given category would be impractical, I honestly am astonished to see that virtually all categories have been limited to a mere two or three nominees. I would have expected to see perhaps the top 5 or 6 candidates making the cut (sort of like the Academy Awards) and at least in some categories it seems a little dubious how some of the nominees could really be the top vote-getters. Examples: for best distro we're limited to choosing between CentOS, Fedora, or Ubuntu??? C'mon, SuSE, Debian, Knoppix, and Slackware aren't even in the running? Give me a break. (Not to pick on CentOS - it's a fine distro - but in distrowatch's statistics for the past 12 months, it doesn't even make it into the Top 20 list.)

Similarly, for best desktop workstation, it's either Apple, Dell, or Monarch, but no entry for home-grown? For best programming beverage there's not even a nomination for soda? I can't believe it. Based on these candidates, one would get the idea that a significant number of Linux users are running CentOS on their Apple machines and sip water when they're coding away, but in real life, most of the Linux users I know are running Slackware or Debian on a machine they've built themselves, and guzzle down Mountain Dew by the gallon.

I appreciate the fact that there's no way to put together a ballot that is satisfactory to 100% of the audience, but I really am disappointed in how narrow the choices are, and would urge you to reconsider how the nomination process is handled for next year. It seems to me that the Readers Choice Award should count for something, and that in order for the awards to signify real achievement, there needs to be real competition. Sadly, this ballot has eliminated so many competitors that any "victory" would be pretty hollow.

you gotta be kidding me

budr's picture

"C'mon, SuSE, Debian, Knoppix, and Slackware aren't even in the running?"

I'm with Anonymous. That thud is my interest in the Readers Choice Awards hitting the floor. I'm one of those Linux users running Debian on a machine I built myself. I've been a reader and subscriber to LJ for years. I read the Awards with interest to know what other linuxers value in the community. But if those four distros are not even on the ballot I'm no longer interested in the question.

Lemme guess, you complain abo

Anonymous's picture

Lemme guess, you complain about that noise those young kids call music today, don't you?

> But if those four distros a

Anonymous's picture

> But if those four distros are not even on the ballot I'm no longer interested in the question.

They were in the first round voting:

Previous rounds must be taken into account

Alan Horkan's picture

I can only assume the earlier rounds must be taken into account.
However doing things this way would help avoid the vote splitting that would have happend in the past for RedHat/Fedora, Debian/Ubuntu, Mozilla/Firefox and the final results could be a lot more interesting.

> However doing things this w

Anonymous's picture

> However doing things this way would help avoid the vote splitting that would have happend in the past

Wrong. It's not about the way but the options: this time the votes for KMail and Kontact (being the same as KMail in the email part) got splitted in email client category in the first round and so none of them did qualify for the finale. :-(

rackspace? bah!

Anonymous's picture

Hmm, rackspace is under consideration? That sucks, especially since they cowardly turned over the hard drives of a GNU/Linux distro to the FBI and have done nothing to stand up for their customers' rights...

And the alternative was...?

Anonymous's picture

Typical leftist truth-twisting. So you're suggesting Rackspace should not have turned over the servers, thus defying a court order? Yeah. Sure. Goodbye Rackspace. You also subtly imply that the Linux distro had something to do with the FBI action, which wasn't the case. (It was, in fact, about photos taken of alleged undercover Swiss police officers. Impact to the little known Blag distro was, unfortunately, collateral damage.)

And before you anti-Bush types get yourselves all in a bunch, the court order was issued in accordance with a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between the US and Switzerland, ratified on January 23, 1977.

Standing up for the customer without breaking the law

Anonymous's picture

Standing up for the customer doesn't mean that they have to defy the court order. Why didn't they join in the motion to unseal? Isn't the customer entitled to a fair trial? If the content on the machines is sensitive, intelligence-wise, seal the content, but why does the existence of the court order have to be?

And how did anyone who's against secret legal proceedings get to be a "leftist"? Seems like this has more in common with the old USSR system than it does with ordinary US courts.

Not Racks fault

Anonymous's picture

It's not Rackspaces fault or Indymedia or Blag - it's the U.S. government's fault for their backdoor censorship of the media.

This whole terrorist platform Bush has invented is a joke - you have better odds of being eaten by a shark, hit by a comet, or winning the lottery than you do being involved in a terrorist incident - no one i know has had any of the aforementioned things happen to them.

It's just a part of life - you do have about a 10 times greater chance of wrecking your car and killing yourself. But yet people don't wear seatbelts, change CD's, talk on the phone, drink & drive etc ...

The U.S. government is the only one to blame - you have been taken for a ride if you believe this terrorist threat hogwash, or didn't believe the fact that with the Patriot Act and many varied other bills - this is purely a crackdown on the average U.S. citizens rights, freedoms, and allowances.

As far as the voting - make it a first round "write in vote" only for your candidates - whomever is nominated will be the participants into future rounds.

" one i know has had any

Anonymous's picture

" one i know has had any of the aforementioned things happen to them."
Ah yes, this must be where you tell us the 9/11 attacks were all just special effects, and the thousands killed were secretly assassinated by secret black ops goon squads, right? Gosh, it all sure fooled me.

Re: Standing up for the customer without breaking the law

Anonymous's picture

The original poster did not even mention secret legal proceedings - he was upset that Rackspace "cowardly turned over the hard drives of a GNU/Linux distro to the FBI". That implies he was upset Rackspace complied with the order, not with the secrecy of the order.

Yet another ISP, in a similar

Anonymous's picture

Yet another ISP, in a similar situation, joined in with Indymedia to /fight/ the bs the gov't was compelling them to do. Rackspace did nothing to side with the customer whatsoever. In fact, where is the order that rackspace supposedly had to submit to?

There seems to be a lot of collateral damage going around...

(the case i'm citing above is when Diebold was threatening everyone that had the "diebold memos" about their vote-rigging. One ISP stood up, but rackspace just told indymedia they were going to shut down the site--they did nothing to defend the customer)

As to the "leftist" thing, i'm a "lifelong" member of the libertarian party, fwiw...

write ins?

Anonymous's picture

are write ins still accepted?

No, last round was the last for write-ins.

Anonymous's picture

No, last round was the last for write-ins.


Anonymous's picture

OK, just try Inkscape for 15 minutes before you automatically vote for "THE GIMP". It's really sweet!


Anonymous's picture

Inkscape does rock. I use it along side the Gimp for different things.

ya, it should have been two s

Anonymous's picture

ya, it should have been two separate categories. inkscape vs sodipodi
and gimp vs. krita

Are we talking to ourselves a

Anonymous's picture

Are we talking to ourselves again?