Readers' Choice Awards 2009
Linux in a Nutshell by Ellen Siever, Stephen Spainhour, Stephen Figgins and Jessica P. Hekman(4%)
Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary by Linus Torvalds and David Diamond (3%)
Running Linux by Matt Welsh, Matthias Kalle Dalheimer, Terry Dawson and Lar Kaufman (3%)
The Cathedral and the Bazaar by Eric S. Raymond (2%)
The Linux Bible by Christopher Negus (2%)
Last year, we limited the selection in this category to books published from 2007 to the date of the survey (February 2008). This year, we decided to try Favorite Linux Book of All Time, and the results didn't gel as easily. Because this category is so crowded, we decided to toss out the 10% rule for Honorable Mention and honor your top five books. Interestingly, two of your favorites were not technical guides but rather required reading for understanding the Linux phenomenon, namely Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary, the story of Linus Torvalds' rise to fame, and The Cathedral and the Bazaar, Eric Raymond's seminal book on the Open Source movement. Rounding out the Honorable Mentions Running Linux and The Linux Bible. The information-overloaded among you meanwhile opted for the popular write-in candidates “Too many to choose” or “Very tough question”.
Tie: Marcel Gagné's Cooking with Linux (19%) and Kyle Rankin's Hack and / (19%)
Dave Taylor's Work the Shell (10%)
Mick Bauer's Paranoid Penguin (10%)
Here is some Linux Journal lore for you. Our publication used to have a column called Kernel Korner, which many faithful readers certainly remember. Kernel Korner dominated the Favorite Linux Journal Column category from the awards' inception in 1996 until 2000. Things got competitive in 2001 when Marcel Gagné and his Cooking with Linux, the world's first column ever to pair practical (and hilarious) Linux advice with appropriate wine selections. Cooking with Linux has been so popular ever since that it won Favorite Linux Journal Column from 2001 to 2008, and last year, I suggested that “Marcel Gagné is going to have to be knocked off before anyone knocks him off the award stand.” My prediction was premature, because this year, although Marcel won this category again, he shares his title with Kyle Rankin's more recent Hack and / column. Believe it or not, Marcel and Kyle received the exact same number of votes, or 19% each. Congratulations are due to both excellent columnists who offer vastly different but equally useful content in their monthly musings. Meanwhile, Dave Taylor's Work the Shell and Mick Bauer's Paranoid Penguin are both popular with 10% of you, enough to award them Honorable Mention.
Android Platform and the T-Mobile G1 Phone (9%)
KDE 4 (7%)
ASUS Eee PC (6%)
In the question for 2009 Linux Product of the Year, we didn't give you any suggestions. We left the responses 100% up to you. Naturally, this made nearly every response unique and left it up to us to categorize it. Nevertheless, it is safe to proclaim that your 2009 Linux Journal Product of the Year Award goes to the Android platform and its first commercial implementation, the T-Mobile G1 phone. The pair garnered 9% of your votes. Close behind, with 8% and Honorable Mention, was the Ubuntu Linux distribution, followed by the KDE 4 desktop with 7% and, finally, last year's winner, the ASUS Eee PC with 6%. Last year, the Eee PC reached an impressive 37% of the votes. Interestingly, the development of Android and the G1 phone, although popular and groundbreaking, didn't have quite the same dominant effect that the Eee PC had last year—nor did any other single product. This effect allowed you to remediate my lament from last year that “when Ubuntu releases yet another fantastic upgrade, our expectations are met and the buzz meter quickly subsides”. This year, Ubuntu got the respect it deserves in this category for revolutionizing the Linux desktop oh so gradually with each great upgrade.
Thanks to each and every one of you who participated in the voting.
James Gray is Linux Journal Products Editor and a graduate student in environmental sciences and management at Michigan State University. A Linux enthusiast since the mid-1990s, he currently resides in Lansing, Michigan, with his wife and cats.
James Gray is Products Editor for Linux Journal.
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