Category Archives: Nerdeprat

FOSS4G 2013 – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Woha! Getting back to work after three days at FOSS4G in Nottingham kinda makes me feel the void. The last four days have really been an expirience. This years FOSS4G was the first that provided me with an employer willing to send me there and a non-jetlag-inducing travel distance.

Although the title has an overweight of negative words this does not reflect my impression of the conference (I’m just a sucker for a catchy title). The plans for this piece is to provide a summary of my experience, some reflections and an insight in what I’ve learnt during the course of the days in “Mappingham”.

So, without further ado, let’s get down to the details. The trip started on Wednesday evening at Værnes Airport, where I managed to get to my gate without checking in to my flight. A kind, but annoyed person at the check-in counter agreed to let me board the plane, but I was a bit nervous for a while. The plane took us to London (don’t ask, I assumed London – Nottingham was a short ride by train). After an aborted landing and a round-trip and then an actual landing my colleague and I had a sprint through Gatwick airport, a long wait in the immigration queue and managed, with a margin of 10 minutes, to catch the train to London. In St. Pancras we had a 20 minute wait before the Midlands Express departed for Nottingham. The train ride was okay, a bit cramped, but I managed to write some code and we had a beer, kinda like a normal evening, apart from the lack of space. After arriving in Nottingham we got a taxi and arrived in our accommodation in Cavendish hall 23.55, five minutes before the man registering us planned to leave for the night. After a while he even managed to find my name on his list (note to self: someone may alphabetically sort me by my middle name..). Cavendish hall was rather spartan, but it had a bed, a power socket and WiFi (in addition to really thin walls..). I couldn’t let go of the code from the train, and spent a few more hours coding (not on an open source project I’m afraid :\).

The long trip and nightly coding session meant that I missed the heart-attack-inducing English breakfast and headed straight to the conference venue at 09.00 (which is actually 10.00 by Norwegian time, so I was rather awake). After getting our tags, programs, bracelets and t-shirts we got highjacked by the guys at the Mango Maps stand who gave us an demo of their software, Mango Maps. Impressive stuff, and while I may have seemed more interested in the technology behind it than the applications of it I can think of some places where it might be useful.

After a coffee or two we headed into the auditorium for the opening plenary. What can I say? went a bit over time, it mentioned drinking a lot, but apart from that I really think it showed how hard the conference committee has worked setting this up. And Daft Maps. What. A. Shock. That tune is still stuck in my head! The opening keynote from Chris Tucker introduced (to me at least) the mapstory.org website and foundation. Great talk, and a mindset and approach that I really think has potential. Being reminded that there are a lot of users and data-owners that have no clue what a shapefile is was a bit scary though.

Another key-takeaway from the opening plenary was that it was a 5-10 minute walk to the arena for three of the sessions, the Clive Granger Building (CGB). As the first talk I wanted to see was scheduled to start at 12.00 in CGB, and the plenary went on till about 12.00, I sprinted out in the rain and found the distance to be closer to 10 than 5 minutes. The talk was held back for about 15 minutes, as I wasn’t the only one late. The talk, with the title “pgRouting for dummies”, gave an introduction and overview of a project I’ve heard about and thought about using a few times, but never came around to actually use. A nice introduction, although maybe a bit technical for the complete dummy, and a bit to shallow for the non-dummy I consider myself to be. On my way back from the talk I got lost (yes, I see the irony there), so the next talk I attended was Arnulf Christls talk on open data. Without revealing too much in advance, I think open data was a big topic at FOSS4G this year, and I would be suprised if it’s not even larger next year. Arnulf is a good presenter, and delivered a great talk. I even learned some new things about the OdBl license that OpenStreetMap uses, prompting me to encourage the attendees from Norkart to publish a recipe on how they manipulate the OSM-data used in their products. The power of Twitter! :)

After lunch i went to the banqueting suite for several talks. The main theme was mobile development, and the first talk by Pascal Coulon was a bit confusing. I think i heard that they where running a stack of Geoserver and PostGIS on a tablet, but I can’t really believe that. The next talk was actually two, Pierre Giraud and Bart van den Eijnden presented their experiences creating mobile map apps with OpenLayers and Phonegap. The main takeaway is that mobile is a bit more complicated than desktop, and my suspicions about Seneca Touch was re-inforced. Leaving a bit early (before the QA that is) I sprinted back to the CGB (in sunshine this time), and managed to get a seat in the small auditorium where Frank Warmerdam (of GDAL/OGR fame) presented the satus of said projects in cooperation with Even Rouault, the man who has “kept the project alive for the last years” (fun fact: Warmerdam met Rouault for the first time in person during FOSS4G 2013). With this/these project(s) being the backbone of open source GIS that they are, an overview of the project(s) from these guys was really worth spending 30 minutes on the floor of a crowded auditorium for.

The afternoon wrap-up for Thursday consisted of a walk-though of the OSGeoLive DVD Linux distro that we’ve got, and a keynote talk from Ben Hennig, known for the worldmapper.com project. With Ben being more a cartographer than a developer he really gave a bit of perspective, and could assure us that cartography is not dead (it just need to expand a bit maybe). It should be mentioned that I spent a lot of time googling his slide titles and tweeting them, as he launched the #mappinghamsongcontest hash tag at the start of his talk!

The closing plenary did not feature the keynote on d3.js by Jason Davies, which was a bit of a downer, as I really had looked forward to this one.

The keynote finished, Claire Gilmour entered the stage and asked us to “go away” and come back at 19.00 “dressed in out best” for the Gala event. I went back to my room, and the moment I sat down on my bed to relax for a minute I got an SMS from @alexanno, asking if I wanted to grab some beers in the hotel lobby. That’s an offer I can’t refuse, so after a quick change of clothes I was there, drinking beer and talking to an ESRI guy about beer and CAMRA. The gala event started approximately two pints of Marstons Pedigree later, and after some queuing I got a beer and a plate of Welsh lamb. The lack of tables made for a nice scene with four Norwegians trying to use the conference chairs both as chair and table. When we finished our meal the doors had opened to the GeoCamp, and we managed to get some seats at a table there, waiting for “The festival of the spoken nerd”. A great, geeky stand-up-show, featuring Mandelbrot-coastlines, and “our favorite shape” (no, not the Shapefile!). Great, geeky humor, which proves that FOSS4G is a conference that suits me well. I felt really at home. After the show we hung around for a bit, met some known and twitter-known Norwegians and spent the rest of the evening drinking beers (or, barley-flavored water, as all they had left in the bar was Stella and Becks) and talked about geospatial topics. The night ended where it started, in the hotel lobby, when the barkeeper announced the last round I was smart enough to go to bed (if only this was normal procedure!).

Nevertheless, the next morning I sacrificed breakfast for sleep yet again, but at 09.00 I was present and ready for one of the Python-talks of the conference. Edward Campbell from MetOffice (Britain’s Meteorological organization) presented Cartopy and Iris, with an emphasis on Cartopy. Really nice library that I’ll sure check out. I was also really impressed by the use of iPython to show off the code, running live in the browser! Next up was Geoserver on Steroids, which focused a lot on raster optimizing for Geoserver. Nice talk, but not exactly my day-to-day interest.

The next slot was a plenary, where Kate Chapman and Edward Anderson delivered good keynotes. Chapman presented the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), what, how and why they do the things they do. Seeing the technology and data we daily use being utilized far from the comfort of the office really gives you a sense of perspective! Anderson, from the World Bank, continued the humanitarian theme, giving an overview of their efforts to use geospatial data and (open source) tools in their work.

After the plenary I did some serious session-switching, first the State Of Geoserver talk, which concluded with the live-release of Geoserver 2.4, then a talk/demo of CartoDB, which really impressed me. I mean, I’ve heard about before, but why I haven’t used it is a mystery to me. Great looking, feature rich and (from what it seems) fast and stable. This is the future. Then I watched Cédric Moullet present the process being developing the new map website for the Swiss mapping agency, with emphasis on user involvement in the development process. This is something that I find really important, and it’s nice to see GIS-developers acknowledge this fact!

A bit wiser after the sprints to CGB the last day I decided to head there early the the “PostGIS Feature Frenzy” talk by Paul Ramsey. This turned out to be a smart move, as the small auditorium quickly overflowed. Paul delivered an enthusiastic talk on a topic that might be considered dry, and I was really glad to know the reason for introducing the Geography type (“the newbies who kept nagging me, and the huge guys that owns satellites”). In the mood for more PostGIS knowledge I did not move (like most others) but waited for the PostMap talk. Jan Jezeck presented a web interface to PostGIS that allows the rendering of actual geographies. While I might disagree a bit on the technology used and the complexity, I really like the idea, so maybe I should put my money (or, my time) where my mouth is and make this web interface the way I envision it.. The last PostGIS talk of the day was about indices, which is really important. A good description of how, what and why when it comes to indexing. Mostly things I knew, but worth being reminded of!

The closing plenary started of with MetOffice presenting themselves and the winner of the hackaton. These guys really see the value in sponsoring an event such as FOSS4G, which is great! After this the winner of the Sol Katz award was presented to Arnulf Christl. This award is given to people who’s done an extra effort for OSGeo, and according to the committee, Arnuf getting this award was long overdue.

The first keynote was by Emer Coleman, who gave us a keynote on Open Data. The second was by Tim Sutton from the (now officially named) QGIS project. He stepped in for Nathan Woodrow, who couldn’t make it. Nevertheless, Tim told us about the QGIS history, the philosphy and the hurdles, as well as a showcase of the new 2.0 release (actually released during FOSS4G!). He also stressed the need for funds to keep the project going, and the work of all the contrbutores

Friday night was without an official programme, but on Thursday night I had used the power of Twitter to gather all the Norwegians present to “go into town for some beers”. In the end about 25 people turned up, and we figured we where hungry. No reservations where made, but we did manage to find an Italian restaurant and we all got something to eat. I was really eager to get to the Brewdog bar, so before dessert I joined a group that left with the same goal. Turned out the Brewdog bar was full, so we found some other joint, where a local punk band played. Some beers and music later we re-united with the remains of the Norwegians and had no trouble getting in to the Brewdog bar. What can I say? Tactical Nuclear Penguin and Black Tokyo* Horizon really made my night, and we stayed there until they turned on the lights and started cleaning tables (which isn’t that late in Britain, thank Xenu!).

Saturday morning I actually had eggs, bacon and sausages for breakfast, and headed straight for the CGB. The first talk of the day was by Frank Warmerdam, again on one of the pillar libraries of FOSS4G, Proj.4. Great, informative talk on topics that more than a few has had their share of struggles with (I know I’ve had). The next talk was on Lucene Spatial, which left me more confused than enlightened (and there was little room for questions due to technical issues). Then the OpenLayers 3 showcase brought me back to more familiar territory. A good talk that, for me at least, inspired to try out this “new library” and explore it. While the CGB featured two more OpenLayers 3-talks, I really wanted to catch the Leaflet talk, so i used the 30-minute break to walk back to the main conference center. This proved worth it, Vlad gave one of the best talks of FOSS4G13, focusing not on technology but on the history and philosophy behind Leaflet. I’m really impressed with this project! Key takeaways are the focus on removing instead of adding features and striving to keep your code base simple so that possible contributors are not scared away.

Next up was a talk by Christopher Helm, an Esri (or E-dollar-ri as they where referred to as) guy. Proving my assumptions wrong, Helm turned out to be a genuine geek, an energetic speaker and really the javascript-grunt-node-geek that FOSS4G features a bit few of. The talk itself was maybe a bit hard to get the main idea behind, but in essence: “Git is cool, why not use it for geospatial data as well”. With examples. Next up was GeoGit, which “relates to Git the same way carpet relates to car”. GeoGit is, after what I understand, a way to handle updates and revisioning of geospatial data. Topics covered included why not just use git, the proposed solution and status of the project (which is: working, but “trivial” matters such as speed and indexing are missing). Overall a great project, and really a good answer to a question I posted on gis.stackexchange.com a while ago.

To squeeze the most out of the conference, I chose to minimize lunch-time and maximize talk-time. Having already seen the PostGIS feature frenzy (which was re-run) I watched a talk from the Danish Geodata Agency. The topic was their migration to an open source database system (PostGIS). Rather similar to talks I’ve heard from the Norwegian Mapping Agency, which have done the same ting. Cost and licensing of proprietary db-systems for web-scale was the main drivers, and the result was absolutely delivering. A shame they still rely on their proprietary db for actual in-house use, but I guess it’s difficult to bring change by revolution. A step at a time is probably a better way (evolution FTW).

The last talk before the closing plenary was Helm again, this time on Javascript and GIS. I couldn’t agree more on his thoughts, js is the shit and we need more of it in GIS. I really wish there was an European version of the geospatial JS-conference in the US. Apart from this: lots of js-gis-libraries showcased, and I really agree that JSTS is a bit to much of a Java-port.

Sadly, all good things come to an end, and the closing plenary marked the beginning of the end. The bencmarking sessions where a bit watered down; the WPS-benchmark was more of an overview and the WMS “shootout” was canceled due to organizing issues. Though, Arnulf Christl appealed for a new WMS shootout next year, hopefully someone will make that happen.

The two closing keynotes where delivered by Ian James from the Ordnance Survey and Paul Ramsey (who doesn’t need further introduction I guess..). James told us the story of the Ordnance Survey path towards open source (well-thought out and planned was not how it happened), and why they use open source. I feel that there really is a theme that governmental organizations use open source software, and in many countries there are guidelines which indeed mandate the use of open source.

Then Paul Ramsey delivered a keynote which many has described as “the best I’ve heard in ages”, and I agree with them. The topic was “Being an open source citizen”, and trying to recap it here won’t do it justice. Some keywords are: “digital barn building” and how egoism really is the drive behind open source. Just a great talk of the kind that makes you think.

The final words and thank yous by Steven Feldman, and included a lot of applause and almost everyone in the audience ending up on the stage (it felt that way at least), and a cozy recap-by-the-fireplace scene with the main organizers. At the end Portland, Oregon was presented as the venue for next years FOSS4G, and I really want to go! (beer-geek-heaven combined with mapping/code-geek-conference, what could be better??)

That concluded the actual conference, and a colleague of mine and I headed into Nottingham, in search of some beers to bring back home and some food. I managed to offend a wine shop employee (“do you have any quality beers?”) and we had a great burger at “Gourmet Burger” before we got on the bus back to campus and the GeoCamp for what turned out to be a large-scale, kinda messy and confusing beer tasting involving Brewdog beers and ~150 thirsty geo-geeks. After beer, pizza, bow and arrow shooting and a lot of ping-pong balls an improv-comedy group knows as “The red herrings” entered the stage, and put on quite a show. I laughed hard for about an hour, splendid! The highlights? The “I like my maps like i like my women..”. “Spread on the kitchen table” was a great contribution from the audience! Rather tired I went to bed at around 23.00, and though my window I could hear the tunes of “up all night to get mapping” from the GeoCamp. Someone had a lot more energy left than me :) The entire Sunday was spent going back to Trondheim, talking about the experience and coding a bit.

So. What was FOSS4G13 like? The short version: GREAT! I really felt at home there, the people, the talks, the buzz was all things I know and can relate to. Spot on with the conference there. The actual talks of course varied in quality, some technical issues, some introverts having a bit of stage-fright and some language-issues, but these are minor issues. Three main things really annoyed me, that was the 10 minute walk to the CGB, which made session switching difficult. The other was the fact that several of the most popular talks where placed in such small rooms (Paul Ramsey, Frank Warmerdam and the OpenLayers team in the smallest rooms, come on, you knew these would be popular). Lastly, a lot of talks (and especially the plenaries) went over time. Oh, and eating from a plate with knife and fork without a table to sit down at is difficult..

Apart from that? Great. Just great! Next year, if I get the chance to go, I’d definitely would like to get in on more of the action, code sprints, hackatons, workshops, the whole works really! On such a large event you just can’t participate in everything, but I really would like to be able to engage some more.

3 uker uten nett

Jeg ble i forrige uke gjort oppmerksom på at “noen” ved NTNU skal gjennomføre en studie de kaller “Life offline”. Som de skriver i “utlysningsbrevet“:

Prosjektet benytter et eksperimentelt sosiologisk design, hvor 30 deltakere, som ellers betrakter seg selv som daglige “vanlige” internettbrukere, avstår fra bruk av internett (epost/web/facebook etc) i tre uker. Deltakerne kan bruke telefon/SMS, men ikke internett-­‐tjenester og nettbaserte app’er på sine telefoner.

Hva gjorde så jeg? Joda, jeg meldte meg på! Dog med det ankepunktet at jeg må få bruke nett på jobb. Tror jeg angrer litt på det nå, men på den annen side blir det spennende å se hva annet jeg får tid til. For, utfordringene blir mange:

  • Ikke noe twitter-ranting
  • Ikke noe blogging eller blogglesning
  • Ikke noe nettbank
  • Ikke noe mail
  • Ikke noe spotify
  • Ikke noe bruk av github og andre kildekontrollsystemer på nett
  • Ikke noe kjøp av bøker på nett (ei heller kindle)
  • Jeg får ikke googla matoppskrifter
  • Jeg får ikke handla en dritt på nett
  • Ikke tilgang til google maps
  • Ingen kalendersyncing
  • Ikke noe wikipedia-faktasjekk
  • Ikke noe facebook (vel, den er jeg ikke så bekymra for)
  • Ikke noe øl-insjekking på untappd

På den annen side, kanskje jeg får tid til å lese mer, kjede meg litt (og dermed bli mer kreativ) og kanskje også reflektere litt over hvor avhengig jeg har blitt av internett, dette jeg ikke visste hva var for noe for 20 år siden.

I dag var jeg på et intervju der jeg ble spurt om hvorfor, hvordan jeg trodde det skulle gå etc. På mandag den 15. oktober går jeg i gang, alt nett skrues av på telefon, pc og kindle. Så, skal du ha tak i meg mellom 15. okt og 4. november må du nesten belage deg på telefon, sms, brev eller å komme innom. Grøss!

Og ja, bor du i Trondheim og har lyst til å være med trenger de fortsatt deltakere, hvorfor ikke utfordre deg selv??

JavaZone 2012

Onsdag 12. og torsdag 13. foregikk JavaZone i Oslo Spektum, og jeg var tilstede som førstereisgutt! Jeg tenkte å oppsummere her hva jeg fikk med meg, med fokus på foredragene, selv om det skal nevnes at stand-området var stort, med mye som foregikk der også. Med 20 minutter mellom hvert foredrag ble det tid til å spise endel is, sushi, burger, kaffe og annet snacks mens en snakket med kjente og ukjente.

Anyways, jeg ankom Oslo tirsdag kveld, og måtte innom Håndtverkerstuene, kjent for godt ølutvalg! God mat og øl som Haandbryggeriets Krøkkebic gjorde det verdt et besøk, men vi gav oss tidlig for å være opplagte til neste dag.

Etter en grei hotellfrokost gikk turen til spektum, og etter å ha vendt øynene til mørket inne i salen, fått seg en kaffe og snakket med litt kjentfolk var det tid for “åpningsshow”. Hvem og hva er jeg fortsatt ikke helt sikker på, en surrealistisk greie med jodling i 20 minutter, sært!

Dog, klokka 9 begynnte foredragene, første for min del var Kevlin Hennly. Tittelen var “Functional progamming you already know”, med et mål om å vise funksjonelle prinsipper uten å vise kode fra funksjonelle språk. Artig foredrag, holdt av en fyr som kan kunsten å holde foredrag ble dette en god start. Neste foredrag ble “How to write highly portable Android applications. Foredraget startet med endel stats om Android, fragmentering etc, før en egenutviklet app ble brukt som basis for å vise hvordan man får samme “look and feel” på flere versjoner. Litt mye detaljer for en stakkar som aldri har skrevet kode for Android, men det må vel kanskje forventes på et intermediate-foredrag?

Etter en pause og en burger ble neste noe jeg følte meg mer hjemme på; lyntaler om webutvikling. jQuery og ytelse, SASS, som virker som en fornuftig måte å håndtere css på, HTML5 og muligheter for å bruke det nuh, gui-testing med Selenium, dos and dont’s, samt scoping i Javascript ble hver presentert på 10 min. Mye hadde jeg (heldigvis) oversikt over, men noe var også nytt. Lyntaler er et genialt konsept for å vekke interesse rundt noe, og jeg fikk notert endel som skal sjekkes ut ved anledning!

“A good API is hard to find” hørtes ut som et relevant tema, og foredragsholderen skuffet ikke. Etter å ha konstatert at i Norge ler ingen av vitser eller stiller spørsmål fikk vi en beskrivelse av hvordan webarkitektur har dreid seg mot utstakt bruk av APIer (som, såklart, er REST). Derretter ble vi ledet gjennom en liste av dont’s, forklaring på hvorfor ikke, samt forslag til hva man burde gjøre. Godt å se at vi gjør det meste riktig :)

Inspirert av hvor godt lyntaler fungerte, samt den spennende tittelen: “How about learning f**** programming?”, ble det igjen lyntalesesjon. Alternative språk, dvs Rust og Lisp (Clojure) ble presentert. I tillegg ble det forklart hvordan man kan kalle andre “jvm-språk” fra Java. Metaprogramming i Ruby ble også omtalt, litt mindfuck kanskje? Så, det omtalte “f**** programming”: essensen var (fremført med mye innlevelse) utviklere er værre moteslaver enn Paris Hilton, og kunne vi brukt de nye, flotte rammeverkene våre til håndvesker hadde vi alle sprada rundt med dem. Det vi heller burde fokusere på er automatiserte enhetstester, refaktorering og design, grunnkunnskaper alle som kaller seg utviklere burde ha!

Deretter fant jeg ut at et foredrag som siterer Churchill i beskrivelsen kan ha noe for seg, og dro dermed for å se Tim Berglund. Han åpnet med å si at det nok blir en smule vidløftig, uten en eneste linje kode. På tross av, eller kanskje på grunn av, dette var det atter et meget godt foredrag av en som kan kunsten. Tittelen “And then our buildings shape us” beskriver vel grunnidéen; gjennom eksempler fra musikk, arkitektur og litteratur ble det argumentert for at de rammene vi setter for en stil ender opp med å begrense oss også. Anvendt på utviklere er analogien at de språkene og rammeverkene vi kan og bruker påvirker de valgene vi tar, og hva vi annser som mulig. Gode poenger, som bygger godt oppunder poenget om at man burde lære seg mer enn ett språk!
Mest på grunn av navnet, men også på grunn av anbefalinger fra kolleger som kjente konseptet, ble Zombie TDD neste post på programmet. Ideen er “enkel”: utvikle et zombie-spill i nettleseren, vha TDD i Javascript. Mest for å vise hvordan man kan gjøre tdd i Javascript, men også fordi det er gøy! To meget flinke Javascript-utviklere med mye kunnskap, humor og emacs-konfigurering av en annen verden spant gjennom mye kode, fikk vist mye teknikker og kode. Absolutt en time jeg ikke angrer på. Og, sjekk ut http://zombietdd.com!

Med ølserveringen i gang ble det tid til å hente seg noe ræl fra et stort oslobryggeri og benke seg for paneldebatt. Tema: “Making the programming pain stop”. Med bla.a., Roy Osherove og Kevlin Henney i panelet var ikke problemet mangelen på profilerte debattanter, men debatten ble litt for mye om alt; dårlige rammeverk (med tilhørende bashing av Spring og Maven), problemer med software-kontrakter, smidige metoder, ledelse og “utvikler: kunstner eller håndtverker?”. Mye gode poenger, men mangel på rød tråd og litt fraværende ordstyring gjorde at jeg ikke følte meg så mye smartere etterpå. Dog, oppsummeringen var: lær å lære, lær deg nye språk og jobb med egne prosjekter, noe det er vanskelig å være uenig i!

Med det var programmet for dag 1 over, neste stopp Rockefeller og AweZone. Jeg ankom mitt i settet til Bekk Band, en salig miks av coverlåter og trylleshow, fremført med mye sjarm! Etter noen timer med mer gul guffe fra nevnte bryggeri entret Turboneger scenen; kjent stil, mye staffasje og show, men også referanser til HTML og Alan Turing. Etter konserten ble det en tur på Tilt, for noe skikkelig øl!

Torsdagen startet med oppdagelsen at Turboneger hadde stukket av med stemmen min, men ellers var formen fin. Denne formiddagen hadde mye webutvikling, og showet ble sparket i gang av Nathaniel Schutta, som snakket om “Javascript libraries you arent using, yet”. Bjørner Ramsrud har skrevet en god gjennomgang her, men jeg vil legge til at her hadde vi enda en dyktig foredragsholder!
Neste foredrag var også Javascript, Christian Johansen fra ZombieTDD-teamet gikk gjennom hvordan og hvordan skrive kode i funksjonell stil i JavaScript. Meget lærerikt og inspirerende foredrag, som virkelig gav meg noe å tenke på!

Neste foredrag ble innledet med en advarsel om at her blir det ingen slides, men vi fikk se litt katter før Bodil Stokke liveprogrammerte en twitter-feed med Backbone.js, et mv*-bibliotek for Javascript. Jeg bruker dette selv, men lærte absolutt noe nytt. Litt forvirrende med bruken av Coffescript, men ikke værre enn at jeg hang med!
Nestemann var inne på samme temaet, live hipsterkoding med Java Play, Coffescript, Backbone.js og bla. Her fikk vi bevist demo-effekten til det fulle, alt tryna på værst tenkelige måte! På tross av dette en god gjennomføring, selv om det ble litt vel mye på en gang.

Deretter fulgte et foredrag av en traver i gamet, Trygve Reenskaug, kjent som den som lanserte begrepet MVC, og utvikler siden 1957! Han presentere DCI-paradigmet, og jeg skal ærlig innrømme at jeg slet litt med å henge med! Dog, sitatet “I hate computers” kommer jeg til å huske ;)

Det nest siste foredraget jeg så var om bildebehandling i en Java webapp. Jeg ville kanskje ha foretrukket mer eksempler, men mye godt arbeid, som er opensourcet, det liker jeg!
Dagen (og dermed konferansen) ble avsluttet med samme foreleser som startet den. Denne gangen snakket Nathaniel Schutta om native apps vs. HTML5. Igjen, godt presentert, vel mye Apple kanskje, mye gode refleksjoner og statistikk. Konklusjonen? “Well, it depends!” Det eneste som ikke er å anbefale er hybride apps, for hvis noen påstår de har en silver bullet har de noe å selge. Så; gjør det som er riktig for din situasjon, og gjør det i dag, mobil er her nå!

Med det var JavaZone 2012 over, på vei ut ble standene rigget ned, og nesa ble vendt mot Trondheim. En smule sliten, uten stemme men full av inspirasjon og nye tanker. Det er vel poenget med en konferanse, så jeg er absolutt fornøyd. Synd det er et år til neste gang. Hvis noe frister finner du masser av foredrag på Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/javazone

Progresjonsgraf på Mineturer.org?

Mineturer.org har ikke fått så mye TLC som den har fortjent det siste halvåret. Jeg har nesten skrevet om hele den bakenforliggende koden, men er ikke helt i mål og har dermed ikke fått lagt ut noen ny versjon.

I tillegg så veit jeg at det mangler endel ting, slik som en bedre delingsside, deling til sosiale medier, eksportfunksjon til GPX, KML, GeoJSON etc. I tillegg har andre typer grafter blitt etterspurt, og jeg har vurdert en slags intergrering mot google-tjenestene for å hente inn tracks fra f.eks MyTrips. Og så har vi jo ting som mistet-passord-funksjon, og på toppen av det hele har “opplasting til OpenStreetMap” blitt foreslått. Så, nok å henge fingrene i!

Dog, det var ikke det jeg tenkte å nevne i dag. Jeg fikk nemlig en ide etter å ha kommet hjem fra vårens andre joggetur. Jeg lasta opp turen på mineturer, og begynnte å klikke meg frem og tilbake for å sammenligne resultatene med vårens første og høstens tre joggeturer (ja, jeg er ikke verdens sprekeste*). Så tok jeg meg selv i å kopiere avstand, data og snittfart inn i et regneark og lage en graf. Jeg ville nemlig prøve å se trender (gjerne da som peker på fremgang). Jeg fant ut at det å kun plotte tid blir feil, all den tid jeg har løpt litt forskjellige runder. Plotter jeg derimot snittfart og avstand får jeg en indikasjon (avstand vil jeg ha med da snittfarten gjerne synker med avstand).

Grafen ble fin den, den viste faktisk fremgang. Men, det fordrer jo at jeg vedlikeholder et regneark med verdier jeg kopierer (manuelt) ut fra Mineturer, setter opp grafen etc. Så tenkte jeg litt til. Jeg har jo dataene og et godt verktøy for å lage grafer i Mineturer. Basert på dette lagde jeg en skisse på hvordan jeg ser for men en slik “progresjonsgraf” (som jeg har valgt å kalle den). Skissen burde være selvforklarende, du velger ut de turene du har lastet opp i mineturer (eventuelt en kategori, slik som “Jogging”) og trykker “generer”. Da får du en graf, med datoene ordnet stigende på x-aksen og to linjer for hhv avstand og snittfart på y-aksen. Slik kan du etter hver opplastet tur sjekke frem/tilbakegangen. Skissen ser altså slik ut:

Så. da er jo spørsmålet: er dette noe som er av interesse for andre enn meg? Jeg tror ikke det skal være store jobben å få til, men det er alltid lettere å gå i gang med en oppgave om jeg veit at flere er interessert. Så, hva tror du? Spennende? Forslag til forbedringer?

*Etter at jeg gikk i gang med ny “treningsmotivasjonsmetode” burde det bedre seg. Formelen for antall joggeturer pr uke er L=ceil(Ø/2) der L er antall løpeturer pr uke og Ø er antall ganger jeg drikker mer enn 3 enheter øl pr uke. ;)

Support som spill?

“Bidra til et opensource-prosjekt” er et godt tips til studenter og nyutdannede som vil jobbe med programmering/systemutvikling. Hvorfor? Jo, det er noe håndfast du kan vise frem på et intervju, som viser hva du kan. I tillegg er det en genial måte å lære på. Men, hvor skal man bidra? Blir det ikke snevert? Jo, sånn tenker jeg og. Og selv om jeg sitter trygt i en jobb jeg trives i streifet tanken om bygging av merkevaren Atle meg etter å ha funnet og registrert meg på GIS Stackexchange.

Og, fordi jeg er så snill tenkte jeg å dele dette tipset. Hva er Stackexchange og what’s in it for me?

Vel, har du vært borti Quora? Det har ikke jeg. Har du slumpa innom Stackoverflow? Jeg har! Og lurt på, hva får folk til å bidra med så gode svar?

Så, Stackexchange er en serie med spørsmål- og svarsider, bygd opp som Stackoverflow (og Quora, innbiller jeg meg). Disse er organisert på tema, der GIS Stackexchange dreier seg om GIS. Du stiller et spørsmål, om noe du sliter med eller lurer på, og masse smartinger svarer. Ikke noe rtfm, men gode, velfunderte og ofte mange svar.

Så, hvordan får de det til? Gamification! Du kan stemme på spørsmål og svar, og får ditt spørsmål eller svar en stemme får du flere reputation-poeng. Det vil si, du får en score koblet til brukernavnet ditt, og som vi alle vet, highscore er kult. Jeg er blitt hekta, jeg svarer på det jeg kan, forsøker å svare godt og håper at jeg får upvotes. Pr i dag har jeg 600 reputation-poeng på GIS Stackexchange, mens den som “leder” har nesten 20 000.

Men, “merkevarebyggingen”: I kontrast til å bidra på et OpenSource prosjekt kan du på en side som Stackexchange svare på spørsmål over et bredt spekter. Dette er noe man kan dra frem på et jobbinterjvu, du kan bruke det for å bli lagt merke til på nett, eller du kan la disse tingene ligge litt i bakhånd og fokusere på å svare godt. På denne måten lærer du deg nye ting. Kanskje du har hørt om noe som kan være et godt svar, men ikke vet nok? Gjør litt research, så lærer du noe også.

Så, oppfordringen er altså: Engasjer deg gjerne i et OpenSource-prosjekt, bidra gjerne på mailinglister for de spesifikke prosjektene, men elsker du å sanke poeng: registrer deg på Stackexchange også!