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The Media Software Linux

Linux Journal Editors Choice Awards 115

An anonymous reader dropped a note in to say that the Linux Journal Editors Choice Awards have been announced. No real surprises in the list, except maybe giving RSS the award for best game.
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Linux Journal Editors Choice Awards

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  • Even for Windows, Firefox is awesome... I left Netscape at version 6.0 (you know, the one with a ton of AOL bloat), and now it's the first time that I feel that a browser can compete with Explorer. It's fast, customizable, cute, compatible... and the extensions thing is just a greaaaaaat idea! Tabbed browsing is also the best thing since sliced bread...

    GG for the win! :)

    I didn't checked the other awards, not being a Linux guy... (at least, not for now!)
  • RSS -is- a game. (Score:5, Informative)

    by ljavelin ( 41345 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @10:59AM (#9857725)
    I find that RSS is inconsistent and a constant challenge.

    Yum, how many different implementations of RSS can YOU deal with? It is, in fact, a game.

    [If you've never implemented a client, don't bother replying.]
    • Re:RSS -is- a game. (Score:5, Informative)

      by moonbender ( 547943 ) <> on Sunday August 01, 2004 @11:09AM (#9857771)
      Even the acronym itself in "implemented" inconsistently: the article expands it to Really Simple Syndication, the (I think) original and official meaning is RDF Site Summary (where RDF := Resource Description Framework) and IBM, among others, expands it to Rich site summary. Source: Google Definitions [].
      • Uhm, actually, this should probably be moderated flamebait, allthough the poster might not be intentionally trolling.... :-)
        • How is my post a flamebait? I was used to the original RDF site summary definition, and surprised to see there were others... Naming conventions nonwithstanding, I still like RSS and use it a lot now that my browser [] is RSS-enabled.
          • by KjetilK ( 186133 )
            Well, first of all, note the smiley! Basically, there was a big flamewar about RSS around the release of RSS 2.0. Dave Winer wanted something that was really simple, whereas a whole lot of other people wanted RSS to be the first real Semantic Web application.

            RSS as in RSS 2.0 stands for Really Simple Syndication, while when the R in RSS stands for RDF, we're talking Semantic Web.

            So, if you had mentioned the two in the wrong fora at the wrong points in time, it would invariably have set off a huge flamew

      • Well, RDF is something totally different: It's a W3C standard that has a much larger vision than simply RSS. It's used for semantic web and FOAF type of projects but the applications are about unlimited with some imagination. Anyway, I found that giving an award to RSS as a game was quite a good joke. What kind of geek plays games anyway?
      • RDF Site Summary only refers to RSS 1.0, not .9x or 2.0.
    • Another weird thing about RSS is version numbering. Version 0.91 is completely different from 1.0 which is completely differnt from 2.0, but 0.91 and 2.0 look very much the same.

      As far as I could understand from the articles I needed to read so I coud create my own RSS feed, one of the standards is just plain XML (0.91, 2.0), while the other is xml-serialized RDF and they are also specified by two different groups of people.

      And the end result is a really nice mess.
      (But then, those articles could be wrong
  • RSS? (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Says a lot about the state of games on Linux. It'd be like IRC being named favorite word processor.
    • Wouldn't a more appropriate analogy be naming the Internet favorite word processor because it is the backbone of IRC?
  • Freeciv? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Andreas(R) ( 448328 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @11:11AM (#9857778) Homepage
    RSS isn't a game. The best Linux game is Freeciv. []. Period.
  • ClamAV (Score:2, Informative)

    by karmatic ( 776420 )
    I've been using ClamAV now for a while, and it does a good job.

    For my mail server, I use Qmail-Scanner [], which does a very good job. Older versions had some issues with funky/broken MIME messages, but they seem to have been mostly resolved.
  • One Install Away? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    From Article-
    "Any hardware whose speed gets compared to greased rodents is at least worthy of an honorable mention, and Greg Kroah-Hartman made that comparison in his vote for the dual-processor version of the Apple Power Mac G5, which is one Linux install away from being a great system. "It's fast, quiet and pretty to look at. With full 64-bit goodness for a very cheap price, what's not to like?" he wrote. "

    One linux install away? I realize this is the linux editors journal, but what about having OSX inst
  • About GIMP2 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @11:32AM (#9857848)
    Graphics Software: The GIMP

    Is anybody else unhappy with some of the changes in GIMP2? For me, several useful things have disappeared (like ctrl-T to hide the layer's borders, now it's something else and I have to go in the menu), of the fact that the "anti" tool key modifier is now ALT and not SHIFT anymore (apart for the magnifier, go figure...) and so it creates problems with KDE, it doesn't save the tablet's device status,... the list is endless.

    All in all, I wonder why they voted GIMP. It's become less good and less usable than GIMP1, and certainly less than Photoshop overall anyway.
    • Re:About GIMP2 (Score:2, Informative)

      by EvilIdler ( 21087 )
      If you don't like the shortcuts, change them!
      At least in X11, you can point your mouse at the option you
      want changed, then press the key combination you prefer.
      For example, open the menu at "Save as..", press Ctrl+A,
      and now Ctrl+A is your shortcut for "Save as..".
      It's what makes Gtk+ good :)
      • That won't help. The modifiers are not keyboard shortcuts, and cannot be changed that way. I haven't been able to find a way to do so, and while I am definately agree with the gnome philosophy of minimizing configurability to what is useful,
        that really is a necisarry configuration if you want nice integrate into different environments.
    • "Is anybody else unhappy with some of the changes in GIMP2?"

      Well, the constant crashes on the Windows version aren't an ideal advertisement for free software...

      The interface seems about the same though... not particularly easier to use, not particularly harder to use... It's the same tools and panels that were always available, so I wouldn't really expect any great productivity gains from rearranging them.

    • The greatest Graphics Software this year, is not "The GIMP", it's KolourPaint []! Alias Microsoft Paint KDE clone.
    • Well, even if you're dissatisfied with some new things in The GIMP, is there an alternative you'd prefer? Even if it isn't perfect, it still could be (is) the best option available.
  • The obvious choice... I mean, were there any other commercial games released this year for Linux?
  • IBM Thinkpad T41 (Score:4, Informative)

    by cuban321 ( 644777 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @11:38AM (#9857871) Homepage
    Yes! I have a Thinkpad T41, and it's what dreams are made of. I will never own another brand of laptop again.

    The box runs linux great, there is a great thinkpad linux mailing list, the battery life is amazing and it's fast as hell.

    Good choice linux journal...

    • This isn't a flame, I'm curious whether my aesthetics are different to the majority. Also everything I've read and heard says IBM laptops rock, which I don't doubt. I'd love to have a Thinkpad X31

      However, does anyone else find the design of all IBM Thinkpads to be absolutely butt ugly? Yes they're distinctive & not just another silvery Powerbook ripoff, but they just look so cheap and plasticy - like something out of the bargain bin.

      Anyone else?

      • No,no,no.

        They are not cheap and plasticy. They are made of some sort of VERY sturdy material. I'm not sure what else to call it but carbon, but their are tough as hell. Especially the back of the LCDs.

        That's actually the first reason I bought one. I travel around the city everyday and needed something that wouldn't break easily (like a Dell or HP, which ARE made of cheap plastic).
        • Sorry, I knew I wouldn't be clear enough.

          I totally agree (from all reports, I've no longterm direct experience) that they're sturdy, robust, of high build quality and generally good.

          I just don't think they look it, to me the rubberised black with red trim looks awful - it reminds of how 'portable computers' looked in the pre-pentium days. It doesn't look the part compared to just about any other laptop.

          Great laptops, just very bad looking.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        All Thinkpads look like that since the very first model from 1992 []: a rectangular black slab with a small logo on the corner in RGB. Thinkpads are not designed to attract attact attention to themselves. Powerbooks are basically designed make you advertise for Apple whenever you're working on them. Even the logo is upside down, so that everybody around you sees it in the "correct" position.
  • The ThinkPad T41 is currently priced at $2,522.13 [] . They couldn't find another laptop that is more cost effective than that? One of the benefits of Linux is first the OS is free, but also it doesn't require the Spartan hardware of Windows. For $2,522.13 I could simple get one of these [] and not worry about getting sound drivers etc. to work.
  • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @11:44AM (#9857896)
    Reuven points out that the all-in-one social network sites LinkedIn, Orkut and Ryze aren't particularly useful, but he says they're "all scratching the surface of something new and interesting."

    Bull. There's nothing older; a friend invited me to join friendster, and my first comment to her was:

    "Jesus Christ, it's high school, all over again."

    It's an electronic popularity contest, with a little bit of recruitment thrown in. Most of us sit on the sidelines and watch as the really popular people amass a huge collection of friends.

    Not surprisingly, a huge number of these young 20-somethings were from NYC, and almost all of them were exactly the type I can't stand- drunk-every-night clubbers. My personal favorite was some rich-bitch french girl who was almost completely naked in all of her shots on some beach. Her profile was truly a piece of work. Example: "Things I enjoy: Not having to work. Ever."

    Friendster attracts the biggest concentration of intellectual-stuck-ups, prisses, and vanity-obsessed people I've seen in my life. Given Orkut is higher profile and more exclusive, I would imagine it's even worse.

  • the MySQL team is making impressive inroads, and I expect to see them close the gap with PostgreSQL in the coming years

    He should take a look at the list of new features in the upcoming version of PostgreSQL which includes savepoints, point in time recovery, tablespaces and a bunch of smaller stuff. Meanwhile, MySQL folks are still struggling with some features which were supported by Postgres almost a decade ago. I'd say the gap is getting bigger, not smaller. Much bigger!

    Sure, MySQL is great for what
    • Postgresql is awsome but so are firebird and sapdb. This year ingres from CA is about to be open sourced. I have never used it but it's certainly an enterprise ready database.

      If you ask me the people at mysql should abandon their quest to make mysql into postgres. Every feature you add is just going to make it slower and more complicated so why not leave mysql as the lightweight, fast alternative to full featured databases I listed above.
      • people at mysql should abandon their quest to make mysql into postgres

        I haven't seen much evidence that MySQL wants to be like PostgreSQL.

        My impression is that MySQL outright rejects many fundamental philosophies of PostgreSQL. For instance, in MySQL, it's legal to enter the date Feb 31st. I'm confident that the MySQL developers could fix that, but their philosophy is to put the responsibility into the application. MySQL also has the philosphy that if an error is encountered, keep going.

        Contrast with Po
        • The folks at mysql are busy adding things like stored procedures, triggers and all kinds of doodads. They already have sapdb so why bother. Keep mysql what it is. A lightweight sql interface for the filesystem.
    • I'd also like to add a couple points:

      (1) PostgreSQL will have a native win32 port

      (2) It has a new caching algorithm which should significantly improve the cache hit rate in most real-world situations. Specifically, they are changing from a "least-recently updated" algorithm (LRU) to a system that accounts for how often the page was accessed. In the old caching system, if a large table scan was done, the cache would be polluted and your small, frequently-accessed table wouldn't be in cache.

      (3) point-in-ti
  • Congrats to GnuCash (Score:5, Informative)

    by D. Book ( 534411 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @01:03PM (#9858211)
    Congratulations to GnuCash on winning the "Desktop Software" category.

    Nice to see some recognition for one of the most unglamorous and underappreciated of all the major free software projects. Originally a Quicken user, I started feeling disempowered by its mandatory activation/registration (in the Australian edition) and reports from other users that the next version displayed advertising (of Quicken's services). It made me angry enough to search for alternatives, and I was sufficently motivated to create a partition for GNU/Linux specifically so that I could use GnuCash once a week. Not something I'd expect Joe User to do, but experienced Windows tinkerers like myself can certainly handle it, and the experience will also make my eventual switch to Linux easier. I've seen where Windows and proprietary software is pushing the industry (toward DRM, software patents, more products needing activation, etc.) and I don't like it one bit. But I digress...

    I would like to comment that GnuCash is frequently criticised as being too difficult for personal finances because of the "double-entry" system it uses. People who don't know better see the words "double entry" and the first thing they think (incorrectly) is "WTF, I have to enter each transaction TWICE?!". Please stop scaring people away with this FUD because, in a practical sense, GnuCash's double-entry foundation is of little consequence to former users of Quicken or similar programs. All it means is that everything that Quicken calls a "category" is an "account" instead. The power of the centuries old accounting practice is there if you need it, but in day to day use there's hardly a difference. Some people believe that GnuCash is more difficult to use than Quicken, but this has more to do with others things (perhaps its interface and the fact that it's also intended to cater to business users).
    • I admit, I was one of the folks frightened away by the term "double-entry bookkeeping", so I started using CBTracker instead. It's a nice little checkbook program that's simpler than Quicken but is quite adequate for most people.
  • Our editors are all business and turned up their noses at selecting favorite games. These are the kind of people you want to hire to roll out your company desktop systems.


    "We didn't want to do any research. That doesn't make us bad journalists... does it??

  • by jotaeleemeese ( 303437 ) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @06:21PM (#9859752) Homepage Journal
    I am a subscriber of the magazine and frankly found their choice of "game" abysmal since what they chose is not a game, no matter how they want to spin it.

    I think Linux game developpers, that are fighting one of the most ungrateful tasks to make a Linux desktop a reality, should not be thrilled by being blantantly ignored by people that are suppossed to be knowledgable about Linux.

    If the LJ editors do not use games, then the honorable choice would have been to either not to give an award or to delegate the selection on people knowledgable about this field.

    Of all the possible choices they took the worst: to insult the intelligence of their readers and of Linux game developpers.
  • Amazing they didn't pick one of the "Linux Certified" models like the LC2430. [] I would have figured a better standing for a company that specializes in Linux Laptops instead of just one that you can install Linux on.

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford