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...