1997 Readers' Choice Awards

by Gena Shurtleff

Welcome to Linux Journal's third annual Readers' Choice Awards.

In response to requests for a larger survey, last year's nine categories were expanded to twenty. A few of the new categories are “Favorite Shell”, “Most Desired Upgrade” and “Best Linux Web Page”.

The Readers' Choice survey was conducted on the Linux Journal web site, where the voting was open for 6 weeks. Almost 3000 people participated in this year's poll. This survey, though unscientific, is a good way to see what products Linux Journal readers are using, what books they are reading and what games they are playing.

Now, here are the results...

Favorite CD-ROM Distribution

Winner: Red Hat Linux

Runner Up: Debian Linux

Red Hat was the runaway winner of the “Favorite CD-ROM Distribution” this year. Red Hat garnered almost three times as many votes as its nearest competitor, Debian.

Favorite Linux Journal Column

Winner: Kernel Korner

Runner Up: Best of Technical Support

Kernel Korner, our technical guide to kernel programming, won the prize as LJ Readers' favorite column. Second place went to the question and answer column Best of Technical Support.

Most Used Development Tool

Winner: GCC

Runner Up: Perl

Not surprisingly, GCC won as the “Most Used Development Tool”. Perl came in a strong second.

Primary Communications Board

Winner: Cyclades

Runner Up: Digi International

For the third year in a row Cyclades' boards have topped our “Primary Communication Board” category.

Favorite Shell

Winner: Bash

Runner Up: Tcsh

Bash was the clear winner in the competition of the shells. Our readers picked Bash almost four times more often than any other shell.

Most Used Text or Word Processor

Winner: vi

Runner Up: Emacs

vi edged out Emacs in this hotly contested category. The word processing programs lost big to traditional text editors—most word processors got less than a tenth of the votes that vi received.

Favorite Graphics Program

Winner: GIMP

Runner Up: Corel Draw!

GIMP, the freely distributed graphics program, won a decisive victory over the other graphics applications. GIMP had an edge of more than 1000 votes over runner up Corel Draw!

Favorite Web Browser

Winner: Netscape

Runner Up: Lynx

Linux Journal's Readers favor Netscape as their web browser by a wide margin over the text-only Lynx browser.

Most Indispensable Linux Book

Winner: Running Linux by Matt Welsh and Lar Kaufman \tPublished by O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.

Runner Up: Linux Network Administrators Guide by Olaf Kirch \tPublished by SSC, Inc and O'Reilly..

In a reversal of last year's results, Running Linux took first prize and the Linux Network Administrator's Guide took second.

Best Linux Web Page

Winner: Linux v2 Information Headquarters \thttp://www.linuxhq.com/

Runner Up: The Linux Documentation Project \thttp://sunsite.unc.edu/LDP/ \thttp://www.ssc.com/linux/resources/ldp.html

With so many excellent Linux web pages out there this category was quite competitive. The Linux v2 Information Headquarters won by just a few votes with the Linux Documentation Project close behind.

Most Desired Upgrade

Winner: ISDN

Runner Up: Laser Printer

The Most Desired Upgrade was for faster connectivity through ISDN. Second on our Readers' wish list was a laser printer.

Most Played Linux Game

Winner: Quake

Runner Up: Doom

Quake, the 3-D monster killing fest, topped our Readers' list as their favorite Linux Game, followed by Doom, another 3-D monster killing fest.

Primary Platform

Winner: Intel

Runner Up: PowerMac

The Primary Platform that LJ Readers are using is, not surprisingly, Intel. Making a good showing in second place was Linux on the PowerMac (MkLinux).

Favorite Mailer

Winner: Pine

Runner Up: Elm

This category came down to a competition between the two most common mailers, Pine and Elm. Pine was the decisive winner, receiving over twice as many votes as Elm.

Primary X-Server

Winner: XFree

Runner Up: Accelerated X

XFree is the X-server of choice amongst voters in this poll. The free X-Server XFree topped second place Accelerated X by over 2000 votes.

Primary Window Manager

Winner: fvwm

Runner Up: fvwm-95

The clear winner in the Window Manager category is fvwm with the Windows95 look-alike fvwm-95 in second place.

Best Database

Winner: SOLID Server

Runner Up: Empress RDBMs

SOLID Server was a clear winner in the very competitive database category garnering almost three times as many votes as its nearest competitor, Empress RDBMs.

Favorite File Manager

Winner: xfm

Runner Up: Northern Commander

xfm won as Favorite File Manager. Northern Commander finished second.

Best Backup Utility

Winner: BRU

Runner Up: CTAR

LJ Readers' voting shows that they prefer to back up their data with BRU.

Favorite Audio Tool

Winner: RealAudio

Runner Up: TiMidity

From a list of over 20 possibilities Real Audio (first) and TiMidity (second) were the winners in this category.

More information about the products and programs included in this article (or other Linux hardware and software) is available through our Linux Resources web site at http://www.ssc.com/linux/.

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