Editors' Choice Awards: Internet and Development

Internet Client Software

Winner
With Internet Explorer 5 Macintosh Edition (free; www.microsoft.com, 800/426-9400), Microsoft has given the Mac community the most standards-compliant browser available. It fully implements HTML 4 and CSS-1 standards, has sleeker new look, and loads pages noticeably faster than its predecessor.

Runners-Up
In addition to traditional chat tools, AOL Instant Messenger 4.1, a free utility from America Online (www.aol.com, 800/827-6364), offers voice-chat and file-transfer capabilities and the ability to send images and sound files instantly. AvantGo Mobile Internet Service for Macintosh 3.3 (free; www.avantgo.com, 888/884-8812) lets you take the Web anywhere by downloading Web content to any Palm OS handheld.

Web Publishing Software

Winner
Macromedia Dreamweaver 3 ( $299; www.macromedia.com, 800/457-1774) was a Web tool that appealed to both visual designers and code purists (a new version is now available). It featured near-infinite customization abilities via JavaScript, excellent integration with Macromedia graphics tool Fireworks, and the Easy Undo tool. Add the site-administration features, and you have an award-winning product.

Runners-Up
Why pay for a program to build, post, and update your Web site when you can use Pyra Labs' Blogger (donation suggested; www.blogger.com, 415/538-8404)? Lasso Studio 1.5 for Dreamweaver 3 ($349; www.blueworld.com, 425/646-0288), from Blue World Communications, gives users without database knowledge an easy way to add database functionality to Web sites; Lasso includes a wizard for building a new database or connecting to an existing one.

Web Motion Software

Winner
Macromedia Flash 5 ($399; www.macromedia.com, 800/457-1774) makes designing interactive Web content much less painful. Its streamlined interface speeds up simple tasks, and its new programming language and scripting tools add professional power and flexibility to the program. The new Movie Explorer and Shared Libraries features help you keep track of complicated projects in large work groups.

Runners-Up
Newcomer Adobe LiveMotion 1.0 ($299; www.adobe.com, 888/724-4508) is the first program to let you produce animations in the Flash file format (SWF) without the steep learning curve of Macromedia Flash. The multimedia-authoring application iShell 2 (free to individuals, varying prices for commercial use: $975 for Silver membership and $2,750 for Gold; www.tribeworks.com, 800/807-4458), by Tribeworks, combines object-oriented design with QuickTime media and allows you to create custom interfaces for streaming media.

Networking Product

Winner
With Apple's AirPort Base Station ($299; www.apple.com, 800/692-7753), you can dial into your ISP from the backyard, get 11-Mbps wireless access to your office network, and share an IP address with multiple users. This silvery hub is endowed with a 56K modem and an Ethernet port and can support as many as ten remote computers wirelessly.

Runners-Up
The Linksys EtherFast 4-Port Cable/DSL Router ($179; www.linksys.com, 800/546-5797) is easy to install and easy on the wallet. It also has four autosensing, 10/100 ports. Dartware's InterMapper 3.0 ($295, up to 10 devices; $1,995, unlimited; www.dartware.com, 603/643-2268) is the best network manager for the Mac--or maybe any platform. It gives you an instant visual representation of your network.

Development Software

Winner
Late Night Software's Script Debugger 2.0 ($189; www.latenightsw.com, 888/999-3210) adds tools that make advanced AppleScript users even more productive and lower the barrier to entry for novices. It can debug local variables and, through its unique Dictionary Explorer, give you unprecedented insight into the innards of AppleScriptable applications.

Runners-Up
Already a popular environment for HTML developers, Bare Bones Software's BBEdit 6.0.1 ($119; www.barebones.com, 781/687-0700) is also an excellent editing tool for Java and JavaScript, PERL, PHP3, WAP, XML, C, and C++. And it's faster than its predecessors. Metrowerks' CodeWarrior for Mac OS, Professional Edition, v.6.0 ($499; www.metrowerks.com, 800/377-5416) updates this multilingual integrated development environment for Mac OS with more standards-compliant compilers. Most important, CodeWarrior 6 lets developers create applications for Mac OS X.

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