Readers' Choice Awards 2009
Last year, we created discord when we split programming languages into two categories: Favorite Programming Language and Favorite Scripting Language. Then, we limited your choices according to our own definition of each. In order to shield ourselves from the avalanche of “WTFs” (whew, we succeeded!), we gave you more latitude to decide which is which. Therefore, the results look a bit different from last year. In an interesting twist, Guido van Rossum's venerable Python, which took First Place in last year's Favorite Scripting Language category, wins this year's Favorite Programming Language award with a hefty 20% of your votes. Close behind in the Honorable Mention group are your other favorites, with few surprises: C++ with 19%, Java with 17%, C with 13% and Perl with 12%.
The results of the Favorite Scripting Language illustrate the diversity of opinions on what is a scripting language. Although the prosaic workhorse bash (shell) wins the category with 28% of the tally, three other quite different languages follow close behind in the Honorable Mention category: the Web-centric PHP, the flexible Python and the Swiss Army chainsaw of programming languages, Perl.
SSH and X (40%)
Your inaugural choice for Favorite GUI Remote Access or Network Computing Solution is clear. SSH and X wins hands-down with a commanding 40% share of the votes. Meanwhile, a hefty chunk of you choose to go graphical, using variants of VNC, such as TightVNC, RealVNC and UltraVNC. In fact, if you add those three user groups together, you're just shy of winning the category. TightVNC, rdesktop and RealVNC are all popular enough to share the platform for Honorable Mention.
Yet another new category in this year's awards is Favorite Linux IDE, which the ubiquitous Eclipse won commandingly and unsurprisingly with 42% of the votes cast. The fact that in Eclipse one can work in a lean environment and add and subtract an incredible array functionality with its myriad modules has closed the deal for nearly a majority of you. At the same time, the second largest vote-getter was “Other”. Clearly the Linux developer community cannot be pigeonholed.
Adobe Air (21%)
When it comes to your Favorite Platform for Developing Rich Internet Apps (yet another new category for 2009), you are less decided than in the Linux IDE category. Although Adobe Air is the favorite of the most of you at 21%, you also are using Gears and JavaFX in solid numbers, 18% and 15%, respectively, among others. Mono Moonlight and OpenLaszlo also were close to the 10% mark. Will one of these tools break away to be the next Eclipse in a few years? Tune in to this space next year to find out.
Frozen Bubble (17%)
Tux Racer, also Planet Penguin Racer and Extreme Tux Racer (10%)
With some barely perceptible percentage changes, the Favorite Linux Game category remains the same as last year, led by Frozen Bubble and with Honorable Mention going to Doom and the Tux Racer series. Besides being consistent, the Favorite Game category is characterized by having the largest share of “Other” votes, with 27%, and the wittiest comments. One of you commented “Keeping it old school with SCUMM[VM] games”. On the flip side, a surprising number of you also commented that you “have no time for games” or “don't like games”. Meanwhile, this writer is wondering whether the many commercial game companies that now make Linux versions will ever break through with a runaway hit that could give Frozen Bubble a challenge one day.
James Gray is Products Editor for Linux Journal