by Paul Arnote (parnote)
The 12th annual Members Choice Awards were recently announced over at the LinuxQuestions.org forum. Members were given from December 17, 2012 until February 4, 2013 to vote for their favorite Linux software in 30 different categories. The LinuxQuestions.org forum is a distro-agnostic forum where Linux users can get together to ask questions and have discussions without regard to a specific distro. There are also distro-specific boards in the forum, for those who would like to talk about and ask questions about their specific distro.
To vote, users had to be registered in the forum, and could only vote once. Users were allowed to skip categories if they had no personal knowledge of the applications, or if they had no opinion one way or another. Below are some of the highlights from the results of the voting, leaving out some of the more obscure categories. Instead, only those categories that are of most interest to desktop Linux users are highlighted. You can view the entire results here.
Desktop Environment Of The Year
KDE took the top honors again this year, with 31.31% of the votes. Xfce took an impressive second place finish, with 25.51% of the vote. Gnome continued its slide, taking a distant third place finish with 12.88% of the vote, followed up by Cinnamon (9.97%) and LXDE (6.97%).
Graphics Application Of The Year
Gimp, the perennial favorite in this category, repeated its stampede over the competition, garnering 69.85% of the vote. Blender (7.81%) narrowly took second place over Inkscape (7.38%). ImageMagick and Krita tied for fourth place with 3.25% of the vote to round out the top five spots.
Office Suite Of The Year
It's probably no surprise that LibreOffice took the top spot among office suites, with 85.14% of the votes. OpenOffice took a distant second place, with only 9.37% of the votes. Calligra took third with 3.88% of the vote, while Gnome Office (1.29%) and Lotus Symphony (0.32%) rounded out the top five spots.
X Terminal Emulator Of The Year
To match the top honors position in the desktop category, KDE's Konsole took the top honors with 22.68% of the vote, with Gnome Terminal coming in a close second with 20.41% of the vote. The trusty standby XTerm took third place with 13.61% of the vote. Xfce Terminal (xfterm4) and Terminator rounded out the remaining spots in the top five vote recipients, with 9.90% and 8.45% of the vote, respectively.
Desktop Distribution Of The Year
These results may surprise you, but Slackware took first place with 20.59% of the votes. Ubuntu took second place with 17.02% of the votes. Linux Mint was close on Ubuntu's heels, taking 16.21% of the votes. Debian (12.64%) and Fedora (8.66%) filled in the numbers four and five spots. PCLinuxOS tied for 14th place.
File Manager Of The Year
Dolphin took first place with 23.77% of the votes, while Nautilus filled in with second place with 15.28% of the votes. Thunar came in third with 14.09% of the votes. Midnight Commander (12.22%) and PCManFM (6.28%) took fourth and fifth places, respectively.
Browser Of The Year
Firefox was the favorite browser by a wide margin, capturing 52.76% of the votes. Chrome (17.27%) and Chromium Browser (11.75%) captured the second and third place spots. Opera came in fourth place with 8.03% of the votes, and SeaMonkey came in fifth with 2.76% of the votes.
Open Source Hardware Product Of The Year
It shouldn't be any surprise that the Raspberry Pi took first place by a large margin, with 79.29% of the votes. Arduino took a distant second place with 10.68% of the votes, while Pandora took a distant second place with 9.39% of the votes. Beagle Board (0.65%) and Bug Labs (0.00%) rounded out the remaining choices.
Video Media Player Application of the Year
VLC was the clear winner, taking 64.99% of the votes. Mplayer came in second, with 25.13% of the votes. Totem (2.33%), Mplayer2 (1.80%) and Kaffeine (1.62%) made up the third, fourth and fifth place spots, respectively.
Audio Media Player Application of the Year
Things were pretty well divided among the field this year, with no one application gaining an overwhelming lead. Amarok took first place honors, with 15.68% of the votes. Audacious took second place, with 13.55% of the votes. VLC took third place with 12.71%, with Clementine (12.08%) and RhythmBox (10.38%) rounding out the top five spots.
Mobile Distribution Of The Year
It was no surprise here that Android takes first place, with 66.86% of the votes. CyanogenMod took second place, with 23.14% of the votes. The surprise comes with third and fourth place finishers Meego (3.71%) and Maemo (2.57%), both of which aren't seeing much active development. The Chinese operating system Tizen came in fifth place with 1.43% of the votes.
Database Of The Year
MySQL took top honors this year with 40.00% of the votes. PostgreSQL came in second place, with 24.16% of the votes. sqlite came in third place with 13.77% of the votes. Relative newcomer MariaDB took fourth place with 8.83% of the votes, while Firebird came in a close fifth place with 8.57% of the votes. MariaDB will be the one to watch next year. Distros have already announced a planned switch to the GPL'd MariaDB, dumping the Oracle run MySQL, similar to what happened with the switch to LibreOffice from OpenOffice.
VoIP Application Of The Year
No surprises here. Skype took first place commandingly with 51.82% of the votes. Ekiga took second place with 11.36% of the votes. Mumble (7.73%) took third, while Jitsi (6.36%) took fourth. LinPhone and TeamSpeak tied for fifth place, with each capturing 5.45% of the votes.
Programming Language Of The Year
The overwhelming favorite programming language of the year was Python, taking in 28.03% of the votes. C came in second place with 15.37%, while C++ captured third place with 13.56% of the votes. Perl and PHP tied for fourth place, each with 7.05% of the votes.
Messaging Application Of The Year
The perennial favorite Pidgin repeated its win in this category, earning 52.06% of the votes. Xchat, the popular IRC chat client, took second place with 8.57% of the votes. Kopete took a close third place finish, with 8.25% of the votes. Irssi (7.30%) and Empathy (5.71%) took fourth and fifth place, respectively.
Backup Application Of The Year
Sometimes, when something works really well, there's no reason to change. The first place winner here was rsync, with 42.82% of the votes. CloneZilla took second place with 11.49% of the votes. Tar came in third with 10.92% of the votes, with rsnapshot (5.46%) and luckyBackup (4.89%) rounding out the top five.
Window Manager Of The Year
Openbox took the top honors for favorite Window Manager Of The Year, with 17.53% of the votes. KWin placed second, with 16.61% of the votes. Compiz (13.28), Fluxbox (11.25%) and xfwm4 (8.49%) filled in the third, fourth and fifth place spots, respectively.
Text Editor Of The Year
By a nearly 3:1 margin over its second place finisher, Vim was the overall favorite text editor among Linux users, with 34.35% of the votes. Gedit came in second with 12.10% of the votes. Geany took third place with 9.04% of the votes, while Emacs (8.76%) and Kate (8.48%) took fourth and fifth place, respectively.
Open Source CMS/Blogging Platform of the Year
Wordpress was the overall favorite among bloggers again this year, with 56.63% of the votes. Drupal came in second with 20.92% of the votes, while Joomla! came in with 10.71% of the votes. The rest of the field was pretty evenly divided up, and no one application came away with a decisive fourth or fifth place finish.
Virtualization Product Of The Year
The perennial favorite, VirtualBox, repeated its first place finish with 53.79% of the votes. KVM took second place with 16.55% of the votes. Third place went to VMware with 14.71% of the votes. QEMU (8.28%) placed fourth, and Xen (3.91%) placed fifth.
Open Source Game Of The Year
Perhaps due to the large number of entrants into this field, the votes were quite scattered all over the gaming landscape. First place honors went to Battle for Wesnoth, with 11.72% of the votes. Second place went to 0 A.D. with 9.52% of the votes. Open Arena took the third place spot with 6.59% of the votes. Flight Gear came in a close fourth place with 6.23% of the votes. GnuChess, NetHack and SuperTuxKart all tied for fifth place with 5.49% of the votes.
There are the choices of favorite applications among Linux users. If you missed out on your chance to place your vote, be sure to mark your calendar for the 2013 Members Choice Awards. The 2013 voting should begin around mid-December.