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LinuxJournal 2008 Readers’ Choice Survey criticism

Looks like the 2008 edition of LinuxJournal’s ‘Readers’ Choice Survey’ has been published some days ago. The available answers in several questions are rather badly chosen though… I’d think the LinuxJournal editors wouldn’t be this clueless. Some examples:

Question 3 asks about your favorite Desktop Environment, and lists GNOME, KDE, XFCE, Enlightenment and Fluxbox. Whilst the first 3 options can be regarded as DE’s, Enlightenment and Fluxbox are pure Window Managers, not really usable as an all-inclusive desktop.

Question 5, regarding your favorite email client: if you list any web-based client (Gmail, maybe someone should tell me how this is related to Linux?), you should at least list the major free software web-based clients too (thinking of Horde IMP here).

#7, ‘What is your favorite audio tool’, lists a whole bunch of music players, and Audacity. I don’t think these are ‘audio tools’. Music players are no audio tools, Audacity is, just like (not listed) Rosegarden, Jokosher, Hydrogen, maybe some format convertors, tagging applications,…

Question 9, ‘What is your favorite communication tool’, lists (amongst others) Pidgin next to Asterisk next to Irssi. At least Asterisk doesn’t belong in here at all, and how can one make a choice between an Instant Messaging application (Kopete, Gajim and others are listed too) and an IRC client (also XChat is listed)?!?

#10, ‘What is your favorite graphics/design tool’ lists Gimp, Scribus, Inkscape and Blender. How is one supposed to choose between a bitmap editor application, a DTP program, a vector art application and a 3D modeling tool? Seriously, I’d vote Gimp to be the best bitmap/picture editor, and Inkscape to be the #1 vector tool, but please don’t make me choose between these otherwise unrelated apps…

Question 14 is a nice one, asking about your favorite virtualisation solution. Someone listing Crossover Office and Wine in this category, next to solutions like VMware, Xen, KVM, VirtualBox and other actual virtualization applications should get back to the books, at least.

Comes #16, ‘What is your favorite backup utility’. Could someone please write a howto on how to make backups with only the bzip2 or gzip utilities?

Question 17, asking about your favorite database, lists Zend Studio. I might be mistaken, but: since when is Zend Studio an actual database system?!?!

#18 asks about your favorite programming language, whilst #19 asks about your preferred scripting language. Why can ‘BASIC’ be listed in #18, and since when are Python, Perl and Ruby no programming languages? Because eg. cPython is interpreted, this doesn’t mean Python is no language…

Question 21, ‘What is your favorite security tool’, lists (among others) SeLinux next to ClamAV next to Nmap next to SSH. Right.

#24 goes the same way, asking about your prefered sysadmin tool, listing Puppet, OpenSSH and Rsync (next to some others).

I guess this is fairly obvious… LinuxJournal, if you want to let your reader make choices and vote for their preferred applications, make at least sure the questions and options are well-chosen… Thanks!

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