2005 Linux Journal Readers' Choice Awards
People like Dell's boxes, but it's still confusing to buy anything but a top-of-the-line workstation from them if you want to run Linux. And even then, according to the Dell Linux Engineering page, “all Dell N-Series Precision Workstation desktops are available and supported with Red Hat Linux. For help running other Linux distributions on your Workstation, you might consider posting to or viewing the linux-precision mailing list.”
Wait a second before skipping to the next category—this result isn't as boring as you might think. Yes, GCC won again, but it's a whole new GCC world out there. Earlier this year, Tom Tromey wrote that GCC “has undergone many changes in the last few years. One change in particular, the merging of the tree-ssa branch, has made it much simpler to write a new GCC front end.” Find out why in “Writing a GCC Front End”.
Judging by the comments posted on the LJ Web site during the voting process, a lot of voters were “shocked” and “flabbergasted” that the brand-new Ubuntu made it to the final round, while Red Hat, Debian, SUSE and other big names were absent. Maybe it's a passing phase of Ubuntu mania, but as Steve Hastings wrote in his LJ review, “Ubuntu Linux is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to run Linux on a desktop system. It's easy to install and to administer. Everyone from beginners to experts can use and appreciate it. And it's free.”
In the early days of the Readers' Choice Awards, the top finishers in this category always were mutt, pine and other text-based programs. The last couple of years, though, the majority of readers—at least the voting ones—have given up the basics for one of the smooth new GUI-based clients. And Thunderbird seems to be responsible for a lot of these conversions.
Nitpickers might say that Qtopia isn't a distribution because it doesn't include the kernel, but it's a full-featured embedded development environment. Qtopia is built on Qt/Embedded, the C++ GUI and platform development tool for Linux-based embedded development. You get all the source code and can do whatever customization you want. Everyone from Samsung to Motorola and Phillips is using Qtopia for PDAs, cell phones and other cool new gadgets.
Everyone knows The GIMP rules this category and has for practically the past decade. But wow, there are a lot of votes for Inkscape this year. Our editors selected it for an Editors' Choice Award earlier this year as well. So maybe it's time the rest of you take a look at Inkscape, especially if you're concerned about making your graphics look good at a variety of screen sizes by using a vector format.
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