Readers' Choice Awards 2008
Back in January and February, we surveyed you, our readers, to find out what Linux-based products, tools and services you prefer these days. More than 5,900 of you completed the survey, and your favorites are the worthy recipients of the 2008 Readers' Choice Awards. Although some results are predictable, many are certain to both interest and surprise you.
In this year's competition, we designated only one winner per category, with strong contenders receiving honorable mention awards. For instance, in the categories where a cluster of formidable contenders followed the outright winner, we designated up to three honorable mentions. However, if one product clearly dominated a category (for example, OpenOffice.org with 85% in Favorite Office Program or Apache with 92% in Favorite Web Server), and the contenders were barely on the radar, there were no honorable mentions.
The developers among you will want us to weigh in on how we dealt with languages. We created two categories: Favorite Programming Language and Favorite Scripting Language. See Technical Editor Michael Baxter's reasoning in the sidebar, as well as the category contents and winners. Please let us know what you think of our approach.
And now, without further ado, we present the 2008 Linux Journal Readers' Choice Awards.
In the last LJ Readers' Choice awards, many readers were “shocked” and “flabbergasted” that the upstart Ubuntu handily took the crown for favorite distribution. This year, however, there is little surprise that Ubuntu has won again, garnering nearly triple the votes of its most able challenger, Mandriva—supposedly the forgotten distro? Clearly Ubuntu has morphed from the “little distro that could” to the “big distro that did”. How would the results differ if we asked for your favorite distribution for servers?
Clearly independent decision making is in ample supply in our community, because (despite Nick Petreley's anti-GNOME rants over the years) GNOME is your Favorite Desktop Environment. GNOME barely edged out its also-popular desktop rival, KDE. The result makes sense given that the GNOME-defaulting Ubuntu trounces all other distributions. However, the fact that GNOME won by just a few percentage points perhaps means that many of you use Ubuntu's sister distribution, the KDE-based Kubuntu?
Given our readers' extreme penchant for tinkering, it's no surprise that we love Firefox and its ever-growing treasure trove of extensions [see “Must-Have Firefox Extensions”, page 80]. Firefox wins Favorite Web Browser with 86% of your votes. But where, oh where, have the very capable Opera and Konqueror gone? Fewer than 5% of you named them your favorite browser. Honorable mention for most creative response in this category goes to “All I know is that IE7 is worse than dreadful.”
Mozilla Thunderbird (44.9%)
Gmail Web Client (19.7%)
Although Mozilla Thunderbird did not vanquish its opponents as decidedly as its sibling Firefox did in the browser category, it had more than twice the support of its nearest rival, the Gmail Web Client, to win Favorite E-Mail Client. We were a bit surprised to see that only about 7% of you are still using text-based e-mail clients, such as Alpine (formerly Pine) and Mutt.
James Gray is Products Editor for Linux Journal
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