Editors' Choice 2006

Excellent competition forced our editors to make some difficult decisions for the 2006 Editors' Choice Awards for software, hardware and services.
Hosting or Colocation

Johncompanies

Our Editor has used Johncompanies for years and testifies that they're wonderful. No technical question is too hard for them. It's a bit creepy that you don't know much about the company other than the name of the head honcho (John) and the Linux technical support person (Dave). Even the sales staff goes by JC Sales. And, instead of a Web or e-mail ticketing system, they simply answer e-mail, which seems like it shouldn't work. But in the time that our editor has been using Johncompanies, it has been competent, friendly and helpful, surpassing other hosting services by a very large degree.

www.johncompanies.com

Management or Admin Software

Mantis Bug Tracking System 1.0.5

When thinking of management or administration software, bug tracking might not immediately pop into mind. But the Mantis Bug Tracking system can be invaluable in a corporate environment where much of the company relies on in-house development to keep the business afloat. Mantis is a PHP Web-based tool that is easy to install, intuitive to use and handles multiple projects.

www.mantisbugtracker.com

Mobile Device

Funambol

Funambol isn't actually a mobile device, but we chose to give it the Editors' Choice if for no other reason than to avoid plugging the Nokia 770 yet again. Funambol is an open-source SyncML server that acts as a middleware between groupware servers and mobile devices. It supports the most popular PDAs and commodity mobile phones. It's great, and the community is finally coming up with a solution that rivals the best commercial competition. Check out the Web site for more information.

www.funambol.com

Notebook

Lenovo ThinkPad T Series

The Lenovo ThinkPad models from the T series are relatively inexpensive, durably built, and the driver support in Linux is very good. Wireless and wired network support, video and sound work well with most recent distributions out there. These laptops run solidly for years and perform very well.

www.pc.ibm.com/us/notebooks/thinkpad/t-series/index.html

POP/IMAP/SMTP E-Mail Server

CommuniGate Pro 5.1

CommuniGate Pro 5.1 is a comprehensive Internet communications system that encompasses IMAP, POP, SMTP, groupware and even includes a VoIP PBX. CommuniGate Pro always has been one of the easiest servers to manage, and that ease of use has been extended to its new VoIP capabilities. It is a cinch to create outgoing messages, voice menu systems, call conferencing, caller-ID blocking and much more. It is outrageously simple to set up CommuniGate Pro clusters, making it one of easiest solutions for situations where scalability is important. Of course, it supports the gamut of e-mail features, including LDAP directories, Web mail, hooks into antivirus software and spam blockers, and an easily configurable set of filters. If you're allergic to proprietary commercial software, you'll want to avoid this one, but you'll have to put in a lot of time and effort to duplicate with open source what you can get so easily with CommuniGate Pro.

The Gordano Messaging Suite (www.gordano.com) is a commercial Exchange replacement alternative that features instant messaging, collaboration, mobile gateway and archive/recovery. If you want an open-source solution, Open-Xchange Server 5 (www.open-xchange.com) deserves the honorable mention. Open-Xchange server is a terrific open-source drop-in replacement for Microsoft Exchange. It's a classy product for what it delivers. Although it is open source, it is not free. In fact, a year's subscription to the maintenence portal for 25 users, at $1,095 US, is more expensive than the more feature-rich and scalable 25-user CommuniGate Pro server, which sells for $699 US.

www.communigate.com

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thx

Annyka's picture

I agree with ya, it does miss some functions but for free .. its best tool.
Great selection, very useful. thx.

FireFox hands down for me

Perfume's picture

I have to choose FireFox. I hate IE 7. It has some issues but nothing like IE.

great!

Tom Black's picture

According to several Evans Data Corporation surveys, it is the most popular development environment among professional Linux developers. To say that Eclipse is extensible is almost an understatement. There are plugins to make Eclipse do just about everything except groom your dog (although we hear that plugin is in the works).

Choice 2007

Kourech's picture

Great selection, very useful. thx.
But can you to do Editors' Choice 2007?

[s]All, who are in higher and lower comments – .[/s]

Anonymous's picture

The Editor’s Choice is some kind of strange.
Here’s the alternative list from [s]vile kashenit[/s] breaded liuneksoid with gray-haired balls.
That is – what works, not that what is beaiyutiful(tm) or sells well.
Bold - nomination from the list.
Italics: my nomination.
Coded - I coincide with editogr.

  • Linux Distribution: Debian.
  • Desktop Environment: KILL IT WITH FIRE. EVERYTHING.
  • Window Manager: wmii. For the interesting idea. Long time favorite: fvwm.
  • Office Suite OpenOffice.org.
  • Spreadsheet: used OO Calc's once in eight years.
    That is why: vim + bash + awk + grep + sort.
  • Word Processor: emacs + auctex + latex/pdflatex (I have it all in tetex) + xdvi/xpdf + make.
    For letter writing there is dinbrief (or how it was called? Installed packadge once and forgot about space formatting, envelope window and other horrors just forever. Yes, this is the style for latex2e.)
  • Presentation Software: emacs + auctex + pdflatex with corresponding packedge. seminar, it seems.
  • Web Browser: icewasel (the same as: fireferfogz 2.0 in the girlhood before marriage is he) and lynx. Rarely Opera.
  • Mail Client: yes, the icedove (the thunderbird is he) is installed, but only for the sake of local beicking up of the gmailbox. Using gmail really (works, although it is not very kosher), while if I gather myself once some day to make kosher, then: exim + fetchmail + mutt. Or ... + imapd + emacs + gnus.
  • Usenet client: emacs + gnus.
  • RSS Reader: Haven’t found yet. Most likely something like Google Reader or rss2nntp + inn2 + emacs + gnus.
  • Database: PostgreSQL.
  • Game/Entertainment Software: do not play. Alasъ. Or it is yes, Quake 4 Arena or [s]tuxracer[/s] some nethack, but... see above.
    In the “entertainment

Quake 4 Correction

Anonymous's picture

Nice research on Quake 4. Not only was the title sold only for Windows and Macintosh, it came out in 2005.

q4llinux for n00b5

Anonymous's picture

dude, you download the linux binary and use the files from the game dvd, its on the site, this page gave you a link to it, and if you stepped off your l33t 455 for 5 seconds you would have spotted that

exactly.

fling's picture

exactly.

trigger-happy

firebird's picture

postgresql, yes. And check out firebird, it's a marvolious good dbrms, with triggers, stored procedures and easy to maintain. Don't be freightened by the ugly homepage. It's rock-stable and similar in apperance to ms-sql.

MySQL

Michele Costabile's picture

I see MySQL less and less as your typical open source project, that you download freely and install in production without strings attached.
PostgresSQL has always been a better database, with stored procedures, integrity constraints and all the rest. It's time that it gets the credit it deserves.

Communication

Mickaël Rémond's picture

In the communication section, what about the ejabberd Instant Messaging Server ?
It is a very good, very scalable platform for XMPP based IM.

--
Mickaël Rémond

3d modelling

Henk's picture

How about 3D modelling?
My award goes to blender (http://www.blender.org/).
Its free and powerful with tonns of examples and documentation.

And it's made for 3D

Anonymous's picture

And it's made for 3D mathematicians for other mathematicians, making is very hard to use for anybody else, while at the same time stuck in the Gimp-loop: three people who has been using it since the start and that for some reason gets to veto any changes that could help its adoption by more users "because they've always done it that way".

Maya is a fantastic product, extensible and incredibly powerful - expensive and closed yes, but if you don't like it, then Blender will have to start think about *users*.

Database

Anonymous's picture

I'd like to give an honorable mention to SQLite (http://www.sqlite.org). It's free (as in beer), free (as in speech - dedicated to the public domain, in fact), fast, capable (implements most of SQL92), embeddable and reliable. I've used it on a couple of projects, and have not been disappointed.

I want to know about 3D

dibos's picture

I want to know about 3D modeling too

re

Sierra's picture

Two word processors fit the bill nicely: KWord and AbiWord. We could justify giving either of these the Editors' Choice Award. We went with AbiWord 2.4.4 primarily because it has a slightly more familiar look and feel for Microsoft Word users, and because it sports a number of very useful plugins. For example, one plugin allows you to place the cursor on a word and run a Google search on that word. Another lets you look up the word in Wikipedia. Still another is supposed to translate selected text via Babel Fish, although that plugin wasn't fully automated in our experiment. Still other plugins add the ability to read and write various document formats, including OpenOffice.org Writer files and Microsoft Word.

I couldn't agree more

sennik's picture

I couldn't agree more with you - I used MySQL and after changing to SQLite I feel deferent in speed and reliability

PostgreSQL

Sam Fourman Jr.'s picture

GREAT Choice, I run OpenBSD and PostgreSQL it is ROCK Solid!

Graphics sotfware

Dragos Stefan's picture

Very dissapointing to see the superficial approach in the evaluation of graphics software candidates. There is Houdini, which is one of the most powerful systems for 3D animation and years ago was THE first professional 3D system to port to Linux. It surely deserved to be at least mentioned. And all the other softwares like D2 Nuke, IFX Piranha, Mistika etc. Not to mention that this was the year in which Flame (the most used and hailed visual effects system) from Autodesk was finally ported to Linux. This is something significant, much more significant and important for graphics in the Linux world than the release of Maya 8.

thanks..

teknoloji's picture

good thanks...

OO.o Calc vs. Gnumeric

atom probe's picture

if you're really serious about doing spreadsheet work, your best bet is with OpenOffice.org Calc.

I disagree. OO.o calc is better for styles/templates & MS Office compatibility. These are important for some users.

But Gnumeric seems to be better in nearly every other way--statistical accuracy and better formula tools; computation speed and even manipulation of charts after you've created them. It also works better for pasting tabular data. I think all of these are what "serious spreadsheet work" is about.

(It should also be noted that KSpread probably has the best charting of the three (though I think Gnumeric's is already flexible & fast & OO.o does have a useful beta of their new charting feature).)

I don't know, it a bold

photographer's picture

I don't know, it a bold statement about Open Office. I've tried it and it was really nice,but that's all. It's missing a lot of nice functions. Well,it's free and for that,it's an excellent piece of software,but not the best...

Cheers,
Dmitri