Thursday 26 June 2008

Using Cartoons in Tutorials

I have just finished reading Joel's book on the best software writing. One of the best ones was an intro to Ruby using cartoon foxes.

What is the Point?

Perhaps there is something to it?

Monday 23 June 2008

Welcome to NetBeans users

Continuing this theme of pointing out hapless documentation contributors ... this week the user list covered how to get your hack on for the NetBeannies among us.

This time Michael Bedward has stepped up to the plate; in addition to answer questions he has written up some docs on on the wiki. For those wanting to use GeoTools the user guide has: Welcome to NetBeans developers

This is a great little tutorial; screen snaps showing each step along the way. Almost temps me to try NetBeans (if only for the maven integration; not having to install subversion - they make it look easy). Perhaps for my net GeoTools training course :-)

For those wanting to fix up the library (join us please) the developers guide has also been improved: Using NetBeans with GeoTools.

Thanks for the docs Michael.

Sunday 22 June 2008

What is the deal with GeoAPI

One of the great thing about working on an open source project is the wide range of expertise you suddenly have access to. For me the expertise often takes the form of well documented Java interfaces provided by the GeoAPI project; and it is the GeoAPI mailing list I turn to for help when "I just don't get it".

This weeks question comes from Tim Swanson of Tyler Technologies (welcome Tim and keep the questions coming).

Tim asks (with respect to status of the relationship between GeoAPI and GeoTools)
The first is whether or not this relationship is spelled out somewhere in the documentation, and whether this documentation is up to date. (I gather that this relationship is still constantly evolving.)

Second, which version of the GeoAPI should I be using.
The answer this week comes from Martin Desruisseux; who provided a history of how these projects have interacted.

And yes the answer is in the documentation; and I have updated the page to include Martin's notes on the history.

My take on the matter is that the status is strained; but it is a healthy strain beneficial to both projects.
  • GeoAPI keeps the GeoTools project honest about being correct (if you are wrong who cares if you made it run?)
  • GeoTools keeps the GeoAPI project honest by actually making sure the ideas can be coded (who cares if the idea can be represented if it does not run?)
As for what version of GeoAPI to use: If you downloaded the GeoTools library you will find a geoapi jar included in the mix; if you are using Maven the pom.xml file will make sure you download the correct jar.