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Linux Today's Hall of Fame: Top 10 Stories of 2002

Jan 01, 2003, 00:00 (6 Talkback[s])

For many of you, and for Linux Today's servers, 2003 has already arrived. May we be the first to wish you a healthy and happy new year.

Since we are tuned to Universal Time, this is officially our first story for the year--and we thought it would be appropriate to take one last look at the big stories of 2002. But rather than inflict our own ideas of what were the big stories, we thought that we should present the results of the poll of popular opinion.

In 2002, Linux made some signifcant strides in every area the operating system touched: clustering, general server, embedded technology... even the desktop, which had apparently been declared dead a bit too early.

Linux also made great strides in education and government use. So much so, we had to add a new category on Linux Today just to handle public and educational deployments.

For our own end-of-year wrapup, we wanted to take this opportunity to list the ten most-read stories that were posted on Linux Today in 2002. Within this list will be some insight from the editors as to why this story was important, or what they were thinking when they posted it.

Before the list, a quick program note: because of the holiday, Linux Today's feed will be suspended until 1700 UTC (noon, EST) tomorrow on January 1.

And now, the ten most popular 2002 stories:

10. Richard Stallman: We can put an end to Word attachments

Source of Story: Linux Today
Author of Story: Richard M. Stallman
Posted by: Michael Hall
Date of Post: January 11, 2002
Number of Reads: 24,934
Editor's Notes: Richard Stallman codifies onw of the banes of a Linux user's existence: getting those attached Word documents in an e-mail. Granted, OpenOffice takes a lot of the pain out of this process, but promoting truly open standards is never a bad idea.

9. Miguel de Icaza: Mono and GNOME. The long reply

Source of Story: gnome-hackers mailing list
Author of Story: Miguel de Icaza
Posted by: Michael Hall
Date of Post: February 6, 2002
Number of Reads: 26,746
Editor's Notes: When Miguel de Icaza first announced the Mono Project, he drew a lot of fire for making comments that led people to believe that GNOME would eventually be based on .NET technology. In this article, he cleared up the confusion and answered some of the criticisms in an argument that would last for much of the first half of the year.

8. Venezuela's Government Shifts to Open Source Software

Source of Story: Linux Today
Author of Story: Brian Proffitt
Posted by: Brian Proffitt
Date of Post: August 30, 2002
Number of Reads: 27,061
Editor's Notes: This one came to us as an anonymous tip, with very little information to use. It took me two days to to use my rusty Spanish and track down at least some of the players involved in the government's decision to move to open source.

Currently, the political upheavals in Venezuela seem to have put this shift on hold, though any one closer to the situation is welcome to chime in here and correct this supposition.

7. Linus Torvalds: Linux Needs New Leadership

Source of Story: linux-kernel mailing list
Author of Story: Unknown
Posted by: Brian Proffitt
Date of Post: April 1, 2002
Number of Reads: 29,001
Editor's Notes: The date of post says it all. Many people wrote in on this one, congratulating us or criticizing us for pulling a fast one. But, ultimately, the joke was on me. When I posted it, I thought it was Linus being funny--later evidence indicated that it was a spoofed message all along.

6. Linus Torvalds: Linux 2.5.16

Source of Story: linux-kernel mailing list
Author of Story: Linus Torvalds
Posted by: Brian Proffitt
Date of Post: May 18, 2002
Number of Reads: 36,459
Editor's Notes: There was nothing very special about this particular release of the Linux 2.5 kernel. Some XML mods seemed to pique some interest, but not much else. What made this kernel announcement so popular was Linus' switch to a re-formatted BitKeeper changelog.

The old changelog format (still seen on Kernel.org) was so long that many kernel mailing list participants complained. The end result: a shorter, mosre compressed version of the same data, which was a welcome relief for mailing list and Linux Today readers alike.

5. Red Hat: New Red Hat Beta, LIMBO, Announced

Source of Story: Red Hat
Author of Story: Red Hat
Posted by: Brian Proffitt
Date of Post: July 3, 2002
Number of Reads: 39,557
Editor's Notes: What would become Red Hat 8.0, one of the best and more controversial distros ever was announced in early July. The Bluecurve desktop theme made its illustrious debut soon after.

4. Peruvian Congressman's Open Letter to Microsoft

Source of Story: GNU.org.pe
Author of Story: Dr. Edgar David Villanueva Nunez
Posted by: Brian Proffitt
Date of Post: May 7, 2002
Number of Reads: 45,588
Editor's Notes: This is the one that started it all. Governments and open source organizations all over the world would soon herald this open letter from a Peruvian Congressman to Microsoft's Peru division.

Succinct, strongly worded, and definitely written by a politician who is no one's fool, this single document did more to dispell the fear, uncertainty, and doubt about Linux, free software, and open source software than any other document this year.

Some in the media have credited this letter for starting other governments to seriously question their committments to proprietary software.

3. Linux TCO: Less Than Half The Cost of Windows

Source of Story: CIN
Author of Story: Dan Orzech
Posted by: Brian Proffitt
Date of Post: October 8, 2002
Number of Reads: 48,519
Editor's Notes: There were two TCO studies that caused ripples in the Linux community this Fall: this one, from the Robert Frances Group, was the first.

According to the study, the cost of running Linux is roughly 40% that of Microsoft Windows over a three-year period. This would later be challanged be a five-year projected study released by IDC in November. Unfortunately, the mainstream media seemed more interested in the latter study, thanks to a widely-dispersed AP report that made the rounds of several newspapers over the Christmas holiday.

2. LinuxWorld Expo: Guess Who's Coming to Exhibit?

Source of Story: Linux Today
Author of Story: Brian Proffitt
Posted by: Brian Proffitt
Date of Post: July 3, 2002
Number of Reads: 49,316
Editor's Notes: July 3 was a good day for LT--this is the second of two stories on this list from that day.

This one came from another anonymous source, who only sent in one thing: a link to the LWE map of their exhibition floor. Three phone calls later, this story was born. A conversation with Microsoft's Peter Houston was added later that same day, which gave the story even more legs.

1. Ending Microsoft FUD: An Interview with Peruvian Congressman Villanueva

Source of Story: Linux Today
Author of Story: Dee-Ann LeBlanc and Stacey Tipton
Posted by: Brian Proffitt
Date of Post: May 21, 2002
Number of Reads: 53,547
Editor's Notes: This was the one we worked hardest to get. Knowing the importance of his letter, I assigned this story to Dee-Ann, who skillfully tracked down Congressman Villanueva and set up an international translated interview. (This story, by the way, holds the current all-time record for most expensive, once all the fees for the phone calls and translators came in.)

This interview offered us all a first glimpse at the man who wrote the now-famous letter to Microsoft Peru, and let us see that he was the genuine article.