Thursday, 11 September 2014

FOSS4G Day 3

The first day of the conference had a smooth start, orderly checking - and a nice touch of offering a self-serve table for grab-bag items (which should keep waste to a minimum).

GeoServer Feature Frenzy

A team effort with Andrea covering a little bit of what makes GeoServer amazing.

A vimeo video is available, since a lot of the fun is in the delivery (and Q&A).

OSGeo Incubation / Programming in Public

I had the privilege of doing one talk close to my heart: What makes OSGeo amazing and how we can help new developers put the software in our software foundation.

There is a vimeo video, sorry about the audio (I was taller then the microphone).

OSGeo Live Case Study

Great to meet Alex Mandel who puts so much work in to OSGeo-Live. This talk covers his thesis work, which looked at how OSGeo gets out the message using tools such as OSGeo Live.
OSGeo Live lets you try out almost everything open source and geospatial:
  • Quickstart gives enough detail to try it out
  • Takes the installation barrier out of trying out our software. (Glad the feature frenzy indicated GeoServer is actually easy to install and configure).
  • Watching the gap between contributors and translators change over time
  • Points for adjusting downloads by country / population size etc...
A vimeo video of this talk is now available, there were some good questions. If your project is on Source Forge contact Alex and see if he can run the same analysis on your project.

Other Presentations

I managed to catch a few more presentations/discussions in the afternoon:
  • Arnulf got a good discussion on certification, which was continued as a Geo4All BOF in the evening. There is a vimeo video of the discussion.
  • Kathleen had a good down to earth talk and open source and avoiding burnout, worth watching the vimeo video when you get a chance.
Discussion Presentations

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Attend a workshop at FOSS4G

I am having a great time going over workshop material for FOSS4G.  I have two workshops on the go and am totally looking forward to seeing everyone next week in Portland.

FOSS4G workshops - sign up now!

Time and time again workshops are listed as the highlight of the foss4g experience. One of the key advantages of open source is a chance to follow up that key hands-on experience with the opportunity  to take the software home to show your friends.
There has been some experimentation with offering lightweight labs (read: no additional cost) in parallel with the main program. While a fun idea, it is kinder to all involved to keep the number of conference tracks to a minimum to avoid that feeling of "missing out" no matter what room you are in.

Why not make workshops the highlight of your foss4g?
  • If you have not signed up for FOSS4G what are you waiting for! The workshops on offer are incredible and represents some of the best value in open source training available. The registration page appears to still be open :)
  • If you already made your plans and were skipping the workshops to save some money - don't! The workshops are cheap-as-chips. Come a day early as there is no substitute for the hands-on goodness of a workshop.
As a final plea: you are going to come back (bruised and battered) from a week of the most amazing geospatial software, friendly community, and buzz of ideas and enthusiasm. As you crawl into work on Monday and are asked "how was it?" - make sure to attend a workshop so you have something to show.
If you cannot make the trip I would be remiss if I did not mention the online training/certification offered by Boundless. The material is extensive and Mike and Ben have done a great job introducing each section with videos.

GeoServer Cartography and Styling

I have had the privilege of teaching GeoServer previously - and the one consistent request is for more on mapping and styling! One day introduction course - more mapping and styling. Two day intensive course for web developers - more mapping and styling. Five day course with a day devoted to Styling? More mapping and styling please ...
With this workshop I can finally answer this request! The use of the CSS extension (to generate SLD files) finally allows a workshop to cover enough ground!
Dynamic Symbology Example
For everyone attending this workshop you are in for a real treat.  Thanks to David Winslow for the CSS extension, and thanks to Boundless for the time and inspiration to pull this course together.
As indicated in the course description lab machines are provided, show up, have fun and learn a ton.

GeoTools DataStore Workshop

I am thankful for the opportunity to teach a GeoTools workshop (programming workshops are occasionally a hard sell next to running applications like GeoServer). And this is not any GeoTools workshop, it is an intermediate workshop on how to create a DataStore from scratch.
ContentDataStore and Friends
A lot of work has gone into ContentDataStore (shown above). This really is the underpinnings of the "next-generation" database, shapefile and the recently announced wfs-ng client.
This workshop marked as BYOD, meaning you can relax in the comfort of your own development environment.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

2014 Events

Upcoming Events

GeoRabble All Stars (April 7th)

If you are in Canberra for Locate14 conference stop by GeoRabble All Stars for a diverse lineup of speakers (and me). GeoRabble events are always a good time and registration is free. Thanks to LocationTech and Boundless for sponsoring.

Location Intelligence (May May 19-21)

If you are in Washington for Location Intelligence I will be helping out with one of the workshops and would love to see you there!

FOSS4G (Sept 8th-13th)

If you are in Portland for FOSS4G be sure to sign up now an register for workshops while there are spots open!

I will be attending with two workshops: A fun session on GeoServer Cartography and Styling for anyone who has struggled with SLD. For the developers out there I was finally brave enough to submit a GeoTools DataStore Workshop.

Past Events

GeoNext (Feb 26)

Sadly you have missed this one, but it was a really good (and thought provoking) single day event. There is something magical about high quality event that is over in a day, no loss of momentum!

Eclipse Developer Day Sydney (April 2)

An interesting introduction to Eclipse Foundation culture, with a bit of mapping on the side.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Eclipse Developers Day Sydney

2014 Drafts: It seems I have a range of unpublished blog posts from last year (often from community functions)

Eclipse Day Sydney was my first proper introduction to eclipse culture. Hats off to the organiser Mr Sai Paravastu and Carrington Associates for setting up the event. Sai worked extremely hard to set up the venue well outside of the usual stomping grounds for the Eclipse Foundation.

I really appreciate the great job lining up sponsors (making this a free event) and setting up a diverse program. I found out about the event at the last moment, and was able to secure a speaking spot (to introduce spatial to a mostly business crowd).

Mapping Outreach

Surprisingly I was not the only mapping talk in the mix. Qiangsheng Wang was an charming speaker from CISCO Australia who offered the lovely example of mixing location into an otherwise innocent business system.

The application was a smooth mix of GEF (Graphical Editing Framework) elements onto of an OSM tile server backdrop.

This was interesting for me as making RCP business apps is the core competency for uDig. I tried to ask a couple scalability questions (as uDig evaluated and ran into the performance limitation of GEF early in its development).

Developers, Developers, Developers

There were two presentations by IBM aimed strictly at the developer crowd. 

The Testing and Performance Tools Project (TPTP) presentation came across as a bit sad from an open source viewpoint. IBM had been doing an amazing job creating the eclipse testing platform, and then noticing (at the end of a successful project milestone) that they were down to one manager and one developer - with no "developer" community to speak of. The result is the public TPTP project being archived after its last release in 2011.

The project continues of course, inside IBM, and we were treated to an impressive development environment (introduction of proxies to allow record and playback, smoothly shift between test harness and server, etc...). The talk on TPTP established a solid baseline for the heart of the message: an environment for mobile development (expressed in business friendly terms). 


  • The Jubula project has taken over the core hooks to build a functional testing environment.
  • Of the course of 2014 you could watch IBM take on more gaps in their mobile story with the introduction of an IBM design language 


My own talk on "LocationTech" projects was a bit of an odd duck. Rather than promoting any particular project or technology (since none have passed incubation) this was an exercise in commuinity building.

The one benefit of being different was a wide range of questions from the audience (and even more during the break).

Data, Big Data

Several presentations were devoted to BIRT (an established business intelligence stack with an RCP Desktop  report builder, backed by server components nearly packaged up as OSGi bundles).

The presentations hard a clean break from the introduction (where the Actuate marketing department works with the "whole box of crayons") and the content produced by the engineer giving the talk.

 While I was familiar with BIRT it was interesting seeing how the result was presented. For context Actuate is a member of LocationTech which has not been very active in their participation (despite the great opportunities for collaboration between BI and Mapping).

Developers vs Customers

During the break I fell into a trap of referring to project developers (when gauging interest in a Sydney code sprint). What followed was an amusing gap of understanding which I should of seen coming.

When IBM and Acuate staff heard the word "developers" they pictured their target market - and loved the idea for more customer outreach. What followed was minuets of enthusiastic confusion while we sorted out my interested the open source angle (gauging interest in a community event with their "engineers").


A thanks again to the Mr Sai Paravastu and the event sponsors. This was a great event (and well attended). It provided a peek behind the corporate curtain where open source is gradually making inroads through events like this.

While this event may not of been the Eclipse culture I was expecting to find, the event helped clarified where the Eclipse Foundation can help take open source. There is is (of course need) and a challenging out reach problem to overcome.