Last week I spoke at devrelcon London 2019, which was an interesting and fun experience. Firstly, I’d never heard of “devrel” until a few months ago, and secondly, it’s been a while since I’ve spoken or even attended a conference outside of the cosy little Open Source GIS community. For those short of time, my talk was on “Inspiring and empowering users and techies to become great writers- and why that’s important” and you can find it on GitHub for the live version, and the pdf with speaker notes.
Inspired by https://lornajane.net/posts/2019/the-first-thousand-blog-posts from Lorna Mitchell back in April on completing 1000 blog posts, and then more recently https://revdancatt.com/weeknotes/2019/11/15/001-not-weeknotes by Rev Dan Catt on (not starting) weeknotes, I’m working on a plan for my own weeknote posts. I’m defining a weeknotes post as a curated collection of either “things I’ve learnt” or “interesting things I’ve seen” this week. The Rev Dan Catt gave me the clue how to start this:
tl;dr For the love of all that’s holy, don’t assume people are using your software because they want to… Preamble I’ve spent some time recently tending to my blog, in the light of feeling like I actually have some interesting things to post about for the first time in ages. I’ve also been indulging in some splendidly geeky bug-fixing and re-visiting a long-term aim to add comments to the site using something other than Disqus (coming soon, hopefully).
After a long delay, I finally managed to put out a release of Portable GIS version 6 this week. You can find it here: https://portablegis.xyz/post/get, and for details of the software versions see the documentation https://portable-gis-docs.readthedocs.io/user_docs.html#included-software-with-versions. This new version doesn’t just include later (I’d like to say latest but that would be fibbing) versions of the included software, but also includes a number of enhancements and infrastructure improvements behind the scenes.
FOSS4GUK (https://uk.osgeo.org/foss4guk2019/) came and went a week or so ago, in Edinburgh, and to my mind it was a game-changer for our UK events. This is not going to be a detailed post about how great it was (yes it was great), and how good the venue was (also great), but a reflection on how it was different. For one, there were 250 attendees, which is a step up from previous events.
This week I’m in Bolsena at the 10th annual Geonetwork codesprint. Geonetwork is the metadata catalogue that we (being Astun Technology) use to deliver our metadata catalogues, for INSPIRE, and for Government customers. I recently asked if I could join the Project Steering Group for Geonetwork, and happily was accepted, and I was then asked if I would like to come along to this event. Coding in the sun, in Italy, in June, what a trial!
I’m delighted to announce that Portable GIS has been accepted as an official OSGeo Community Project! From a technical perspective, this is the culmination of several months work behind the scenes getting the proper code repository set up here, creating the website, improving the documentation, and formalising the open source license. As a colleague said recently, Portable GIS has moved from being (effectively) freeware, to proper open source. So, there are now official guidelines on how to contribute to Portable GIS development, and on the license terms under which you can use and contribute.
I recently decided to move this blog from octopress, hosted on a commercial site, to hugo, hosted on gitlab pages. Why? I don’t care that Octopress hasn’t been updated for a while but I do care that I didn’t understand what it was doing- I’m not a Ruby/Jekyll/Whatever person. I never took the time to understand how it worked under the hood, my bad. I wasn’t using 99% of the facilities offered with the commercial host.