Sunday, December 20, 2009

Summary of last conferences

These last months I had the opportunity of taking part in two international conferences about GIS (Geographic Information Systems) as part of my work in CartoLab. In November I was in the II SASIG in Evora (Portugal) and in December in the V Jornadas gvSIG in Valencia (Spain). It has been a great opportunity of meeting a lot of cool people who takes long time working in the GIS communities and I only knew from mailing lists. With all of them I could enjoy of great moments learning, talking and sharing experiences.

The conference, in Evora, was about GIS and Free Software. I am very glad viewing how the Free Software Philosophy is being taken, more and more, in new fields. According to what I have seen it seems that Portugal, as well as Spain, is betting hard on GIS and in many cases this bet comes from the Public Administration, but so far as well as Spain have still an unresolved matter, making public the data for the society.

CartoLab was represented with two talks, I gave the first one about NavTable, actually was the first time that NavTable was shown in public, and my workmate Gonzalo gave a great talk entitled "Development of a Free Corporative GIS in the Provincial Council of Pontevedra" that shows an example of bet for Free Software by a Public Administration.

The V Jornadas gvSIG is a conference arround gvSIG, a GIS application developed by the Valencia goberment and probably the most important Free GIS application nowadays. From CartoLab we could show many of our developments based on gvSIG since the organization gave us the opportunity of taking part with four talks:

  • gvSIG on EIEL of Pontevedra Province Council
  • Developments in gvSIG for the improvement of the management of information for ISF Honduras
  • NavTable, sailing along the data in gvSIG
  • Developments on gvSIG for the Plan of drainage infrastructures of Galicia
Besides, in this conference was presented the gvSIG Association that will take the control of the gvSIG project for now on. We could meet them and come to a series of agreements for the future. The first one was made already public: NavTable, our killer application, will be a gvSIG official project.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Good feelings about gvSIG 2.0

After have been these days in Valencia, knowing the novelties about gvSIG 2.0 and have many interesting talks with project crew, I can say that I'm hopeful enough with the future of this project.
I'm not sure if these feelings are really based on something or, on the contrary, are the result of my current frame of mind, since I'm a bit disappointment after having seen last week how people, that say to know about how Free Software works, hinder the main principle: the collaboration.

According to I have being seen these days, I think gvSIG can really become in a project developed and maintained by the Free Software community. From the technical point of view, the changes that have been carrying out contribute to make easier the collaboration with the project. Some examples:

This new version includes a new geometry model, which is an evolution from the old one and based on an approximation to the standard ISO 19107. This new model is independent of the rest of gvSIG's components, removing the one that existed in the old model with draw 2D. Besides, it is more extensible since the library provide mechanisms so that we can register new geometries and their associated operations.

The new Data Access Library (DAL) is an abstraction layer that makes possible work with different
data sources in an homogeneous way, providing a standard API.

This new version of gvSIG includes also a new concept: the transformations. Basically a transformation is an algorithm that changes the way of showing data but without modify the original data source. gvSIG 2.0 includes a new wizard to apply different transformations and a API in order to have access to this wizard and create new transformations. To add a new transformation just we have to create the panels, that will be shown by the wizard in order to get the information needed about data, and the algorithm that will make the changes in the way of see the information.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Learning about gvSIG 2.0

These days I'm in Valencia, learning about gvSIG 2.0 with project crew.

This new version is really a deep revision. There are many changes in the architecture, source code and technologies used by the project. One of this new technologies is Maven, that replaces Ant as method to build gvSIG.

I hardly knew Maven and it really surprises me. It's really easy to configure it. Maven is being able to search the dependencies of a project in a local or external repository an it is also really easy to add your new project to these repositories.
Besides, gvSIG people have made a great job integrating maven in gvSIG, in fact, an executable of Maven is distributed with the project so you don't need to install it. They have also created several templates in order to make new libraries or extensions in a easy way, just providing a few data Maven will create a structure for your project and even will import it into your eclipse's workspace.

Apart from learning about the technical novelties of this new version, I have known the project crew, having the opportunity of talking with them, changing opinions...
When I started to work with gvSIG, several months ago, I had the sensation that gvSIG was a cathedral project, according to definition of cathedral from the book "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" by Eric Raymond, in fact I'm still thinking that. Nevertheless today I'm a bit more excited thinking that maybe in the future could become a Bazaar project, which is the essence of Free (Libre) Software.

We will see...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Tips for Ubuntu 9.04

Testing the new release of Ubuntu I found some changes that don't like very much. First of them is that now the sortcut Ctrl+Alt+BackSpace is deactivated by default, the other one is that the update manager just appear when there are some new update instead of the old icon in the systray. I really hate windows that appear out of control in my desktop.

Fortunately, looking for Internet I could find a solution. In the first case it's enough to add this lines at the end of /etc/X11/xorg.cong file:

Section "ServerFlags"
Option "DontZap" "False"

To avoid that update manager appears whenever it likes just type this in a terminal:

gconftool -s --type bool /apps/update-notifier/auto_launch false

I have also some problem with the 3D acceleration of my card, a Intel 945GM, that was fixed downgrading the driver to the intrepid version. For that, I added these lines to /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb jaunty main
deb-src jaunty main

and doing apt-get update and sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-intel.

The moral of the post is that Human Beings are prisoners of our habits.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Official packages for gtranslator

The last release of gtranslator (1.9.4) has been included in Debian and Ubuntu as official package.
This is still an unstable release. In the case of Debian, it has been included into Debian Experimental and in Ubuntu has been included in the next stable version, Jaunty.

I would like to say thank you to Debian and Ubuntu people that make this possible. Now, if you are fan of Debian or Ubuntu you can test the new gtranslator installing it from the repository of your favorite GNU/Linux distribution.

Links to official packages:


Monday, February 16, 2009

GNOME Merchandise

Last week was my birthday. A friend of mine, Andrés, had a brilliant idea, give me something related to GNOME. He could have thought in give me a sticker for my laptop, for instance, but I have already one. He could have thought in a T-Shirt, but I have already a couple of ones. He could have thought in a... nothing else. There were no more possibilities so finally he found this:

This is a funny bathroom rug, obviously this is not the GNOME logo but if it was, it would be really cool. I would like to have a bathroom rug with the GNOME logo, and I'm pretty sure that many people that love GNOME would like too. GNOME Marketing, it's time to create a powerful merchandise line!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

gtranslator 2.0 is one step closer to be reality

Yesterday gtranslator 1.9.4 has been released. This is the first Beta version of gtranslator 2.0. It includes the new features which I talked in a previous post.

I want to say thank you to all the people that have contributed with the project somehow.

You can download it from here and test it.

I would be happy if gtranslator makes your work a bit easier.