Editors' Picks: The Best of 2001

by David Sims

Over the past 12 months, as technology's economic engine slowed to a crawl, we kept our ears to the track.

We wrote about the fall of Napster and the rise of its clones, the resurgence of Apple with Mac OS X, the continuing success of XML and Java, the expansion of 802.11b, and the contraction of Linux on the desktop.

These are just a few topics from the past that will shape the future. So in the spirit of year-end reflection and the notion that history is a great teacher, here's a look back at some of our favorite articles from 2001.

Charting the Linux Anatomy -- A behind-the-scenes look at how O'Reilly created a unique poster that offers a concise yet comprehensive depiction of the Linux system.

Morpheus Out of the Underworld -- Kelly Truelove and Andrew Chasin took this look at the workings of one of the more popular Napster clones. It's remained one of our most popular articles through the year.

The Disaster-Free Upgrade to Mac OS 10.1 -- We've enjoyed watching the rise of Apple's OS X this year, as it brings together two development communities we're passionate about: open source Unix and Macintosh. In this article, managing editor Derrick Story shows how to move gracefully from OS 9 to the first revision, OS 10.1.

The Story Behind the Parrot Prank -- Simon Cozens, managing editor, tells how he orchestrated this year's big April Fools' Day hoax, which turned out to be not such a hoax after all. Parrot lives today, not as the mythical language that combines Perl and Python but as Perl 6's virtual machine.


Most Popular Articles of 2001

O'Reilly Network

Morpheus Out of the Underworld

Deploying Web Applications to Tomcat

Java API Map

Where Have All the IPs Gone?

The CSS Anarchist's Cookbook

Gnutella: Alive, Well, and Changing Fast

Linux Compatibility on BSD for the PPC Platform

Proper Filesystem Layout

The Agenda VR3: Real Linux in a PDA

Introduction to IPv6

NET vs. J2EE: How Do They Stack Up?

Hans' Top Ten JSP Tips

Deep Inside C#: An Interview with Microsoft chief architect Anders Hejlsberg

The Art of Flash 5 Preloading

Mac OS X vs. Linux: Could Apple Take a Bite Out of the Penguin?

O'Reilly and Apple Team Up

Kylix is Coming

Paul Lomax's Top 15 VB Tips and Tricks

Mark Lutz Interview

Coaster-free Burning with IDE CD Writers

Confessions of an Accidental Programmer -- At least one accomplished programmer never took a computer science course. Here are the dirty secrets of John Callender, Perl programmer and author of O'Reilly's Perl for Web Site Management.

Frankly Speaking -- We miss our editor-in-chief, Frank Willison, who was cut down in his prime by a heart attack last summer. This was one of our favorite of his regular columns, advising a young programmer not to spend his whole summer coding, but to make sure to get out and have fun, too.

The Agenda VR3: Real Linux in a PDA -- One of our most popular threads in Linux this year was our series of articles that looked at Linux PDAs. Chris Halsall's review in May of the Agenda VR3 got the series going with a look at a PDA that runs X Windows and has a terminal app.

Will You See Open Source J2EE Implementations? -- This was one of our most popular pieces all year on, when O'Reilly's java editor for books, Mike Loukides, offered his take on the current state of open source enterprise Java and the hurdles open source projects like JBoss experience.

Performance Test: 802.11b Takes a Lickin' and Keeps on Tickin' -- Rob Flickenger, O'Reilly Network's sysadmin and the author of Building Community Wireless Networks, has been our reporter on the 802.11b beat. In this article, he tested out the wives' tale about microwave-oven interference.

XML Ain't What It Used To Be -- It's been a year of strife for XML, as it becomes a victim of its own success. In this column, O'Reilly editor Simon St. Laurent eloquently expressed many frustrations with the commercialization of the technology.

Comparing XML Schema Languages -- As Eric van der Vlist's summary of the healthy ecology in XML schema languages-- still a hot topic as 2001 ends -- illustrates well that, despite Simon's worries, the XML world has retained its heritage of grassroots development and independent thought.

Using Tomcat by James Goodwill -- Written by expert Servlets and JSP software architect and author James Goodwill, this column features introductory Web application development issues, Tomcat installation, configuration, deployment, and security.

Hailstorm: Open Web Services Controlled by Microsoft -- Clay Shirky's description of the Web services landscape, and Microsoft's looming effort to get into it in a big way, drew a lot of passionate responses.

Microsoft Plans Shared Source .NET -- By autumn, Microsoft was taking a more open source stance, promising a shared-source version of its .NET infrastructure. In this interview, .NET program manager (and FreeBSD sympathizer) Dave Stutz explained what Microsoft was trying to make open and why.

XML Technologies: A Success Story -- This one's a favorite of the managing editor of, Edd Dumbill; the author put XML to use in creating score sheets for wrestling tournaments.

David Sims was the editorial director of the O'Reilly Network.

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