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Best of 2005 awards results

By Chris Williams. Published: 31st Dec 2005, 13:01:11 | Permalink | Printable

Roll out the red carpet

The deadline has passed, the votes have been electronically counted and the results are now in: it's time to recognise those who have been given the thumbs up and the thumbs down by drobe.co.uk readers in 2005. Every single developer, dealer and bug hunter is worth his or her weight in gold - don't be afraid to drop them an email to let them know they are appreciated. After much deliberation and countless sleepless nights, the nominations were published on Christmas eve and since then, readers have dashed online to cast their votes. And without further ado, the outcome:

Best commercial software
It's come a long way since it was first acquired from its original publisher. This year saw bitmap export improvements, rainbow blends and many more tweaks and updates which were then quickly followed by impressive PDF generation support. First place is awarded to MW Software's Artworks, which grabbed 32% of the vote in its category. Second place goes to Geminus, the Iyonix graphics acceleration and enhancement package developed by Adrian Lees and published by Spellings. The Aemulor author gave users of Castle's Intel XScale powered machine a much needed speed boost on the desktop as well as support for multiple monitors and rotated displays.

Best non-commercial software
Drawing on efforts spent on bringing various open source libraries, an X Windows translation library and a cross compiling environment to the RISC OS platform, patience and perseverance eventually paid off in a quest to deliver this monster application to eager fans. Ported by Peter Naulls, Firefox came first in this category with 27% of the vote. Very close behind was another popular web browser, this time developed by a crack commando unit of developers who were sent to prison for a bug they did not commit; these men promptly escaped to irc.freenode.net where they survive as programmers of HTML and CSS parsing: Open source NetSurf came second place.

Best RISC OS event 2005
Spanning two days, it hosted the launch of the beta version of the A9home and the appearance of VirtualRiscPC for Mac OS X as well as many other products and developments. The WROCC's Wakefield show landed first place with 32% of the vote. Second place goes to the SASAUG run South East event, which saw the launch of ArtWorks 2.5 and the Geminus graphics acceleration support.

Best show of ingenuity
It needed a 32bit operating system and RISCOS Ltd. ultimately produced the goods, paving the way for a new RISC OS 4 powered computer. Kept tightly under wraps for months, the secret project saw fleeting public appearances before being officially unveiled in May. Using the 400MHz Samsung ARM9 powered S3C2440 system-on-a-chip processor and the Silicon Motion SM501 chipset, it required teamwork from AdvantageSix, ROL, Simtec and dealer CJE Micros to pull it off. The beta version A9home came first place in this category with 47% of the vote. In second place is Simon Wilson's work to port 3D graphics acceleration to the Iyonix: the Nvidia accelerated OpenGL drivers.

Best general contribution
With 50% of the vote, this particular person takes juggling the development of multiple commercial products in his stride. Confidently turning around impressive and stable software releases through out the year with helpful and efficient end user support, he is never caught too far away from a bow tie and a grin. First place in the drobe.co.uk reader vote for this category goes to ArtWorks, TechWriter and Gimp-Print developer Martin Wuerthner. Next is an interesting choice, being a team of people rather than a particular individual. As well as gradually completing a competent web browser mostly from scratch, its members have consequently spun off a number of projects and libraries that can be used by other programmers and users. Working for free for an army of beta testers, the team includes John-Mark Bell, James Bursa, Adrian Lees, Richard Wilson, John Tytgat, Michael Drake, Philip Pemberton, Andrew Timmins, Kevin Bagust, Matthew Hambley, Rob Jackson, Sebastian Barthel, Bruno D'Arcangeli, Phil Mellor, Andrew Duffell, Richard Hallas, Gerard van Katwijk, Jerome Mathevet and Simon Voortman. The NetSurf team are placed second in this category.

Top own goal
The outright winner of this group is, without a doubt, the saga involving Microdigital and customers taking them to court to get their money back.

And that's it for 2005. On reflection, it might not be a total surprise that readers of an online news website voted favourably for web browsers, and it is clear that support remains strong for both graphics software and graphics acceleration support. For now, we're off to our respective New Year's Eve parties, and we look forward to seeing you again in 2006.


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Why am I not surprised at all that Martin Würthner again wins in all categories he participates in and that A9home and Firefox made it too.

But as already stated in the invitation to vote the list of choices was already a bit strange since it didn't include e.g. Peter Naulls (Unix Porting Project) and Chris Williams (Drobe) whom I'd say lots of us are thankful for his work. Furthermore you could have put down Geminus in "Best show of Ingenuity" and DeskDebug (the real wimp debugger offering features lots of people thought impossible to offer) was missing too. And as for the things that should not have happened I did miss the overdue RISC OS Select issue, or IYONIX Select which did fill quite a few discussion threads in the odd place - but I am sure that ROL will get a place in the "Best commercial products" hall of fame next time round.

May I thus suggest that next year the "Best of 2006 awards" is such that you outline the categories and everybody may e.g. give out 5 points per category to whatever he or she considers valid. True, it would be more work to collect the data but would give in a more interesting and valid result!

Happy new year!

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 31/12/05 2:02PM
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First of all, my sincerest congratulations to Martin Wuerthner, who is a most deserving winner of two categories.

Secondly, I'd like to agree in principle with what Herbert's just said. Whilst giving a truly free vote might prove difficult, I felt that some of the choices were a bit arbitrary or restricted this time. In particular, I was very surprised that Geminus wasn't listed under 'Best show of ingenuity'; I think it's the most ingenious product of the year, and I'd certainly have voted for it if it had been there.

 is a RISC OS UserRichardHallas on 1/1/06 1:19PM
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What About ADL's 4D Compilation CD-ROMs?

 is a RISC OS Userriscosmad on 1/1/06 1:53PM
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Happy New Year to all.

RichardHallas> I agree completely. The choices *did* seem somewhat whimsical, I'd also consider Geminus probably the most ingenious product (in that it is *not* just caching sprites - but also allowing *multiple* PCI video cards in the Iyonix to allow ultrawide desktops over several physical screens - and also the use of either Portrait or Landscape display).

As to Martin's award are there *any* limits to the guy? A well deserved win I'd say.

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 1/1/06 4:38PM
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Sounds like we may need a "Pre-Election" poll to gather suggestions of what to vote for before the official list gets posted?

Then maybe the highest opinions counted may be considered before the official voting is open?

Just a pre voting thought?

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 1/1/06 8:07PM
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For goodness' sake. This is getting ridiculous. Drobe *did* <a href="[link]">ask</a> for nomination suggestions a full 5 days before they published the final nomination list and opened the vote. If people couldn't be bothered to respond then so be it.

 is a RISC OS Userjmb on 1/1/06 9:12PM
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 is a RISC OS UserROHC on 1/1/06 10:57PM
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In reply to jmb: Agreed but the plea for suggestions was so well hidden near the end of that posting with not even an own highlighted title and put in the regular "News in brief" so that chances are high that quite a few drobe readers (like me) didn't read it in full at that time being busy with X-mas preparations, short X-mas vacations etc.

So a kind of pre-poll was there but unfortunately in a way to make it hard to find in time in the first place. But I think it is no problem for drobe to ask more obvious and with a bit more time in advance next year.

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 2/1/06 5:50AM
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Yes, I agree with hzn. I don't usually read more than the headings in the "News in brief" articles.

 is a RISC OS UserShadow on 2/1/06 10:47AM
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hzn, Shadow: The fact remains that a call *was* put out for nominations, regardless of whether you read it or not.

 is a RISC OS Userandypoole on 2/1/06 8:26PM
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