Ellison and Balmer

If you haven’t had a gander at these videos at All Points Blog showing Larry Ellison (Oracle) and Steve Balmer (Microsoft) opining on the “cloud” take five minutes and have a look. Larry’s still at stage one but Steve appears to have moved on to stage two.

PostGIS Down Under

If you’ve been putting off registering for FOSS4G and are planning to attend the PostGIS workshop, better delay no longer – a little birdy tells me that the workshops program in general and PostGIS in particular are almost full.

Snow Leopard

Being a colossal Apple fanboi now, immediately upon returning home from vacation I ordered the latest version of OS/X, “Snow Leopard” and promptly installed it on both my laptop and workstation. Without testing on one first. Whoops.

It looks like the new version of XCode is producing output that can’t link to libraries compiled with the old version, so this morning I’m re-compiling everything I ever installed from code on both machines.

On the bright side, the performance claims seem to be bearing out. Apps are starting faster and boot-up in general is quicker.

Bottoms Up?

In his take on last month’s GeoWeb conference, Sean Gorman expresses his love for the “bottom up” style of geo-webification:

Top down being standards developed by committees (W*S, GML, CWS etc.), data sharing initiatives in the form of Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI), and implementations built around protocols like SOAP. On the other end we have bottom-up approaches where de facto standards are created around iterated implementations (KML, GeoRSS, SpatiaLite etc.). Data sharing takes the form of indexed geodata that is directly Web accessible (e.g. Jason Birch’s work with Nanaimo). Protocols for implementation in the bottom-up category typically follow a RESTful philosophy.

But, how do I find all this wonderful “bottom up” data? Here’s a hint, it starts with “G”… Basically the “bottom up” folks have looked at the SDI publish-find-bind triangle and decided that “find” and “bind” are too much trouble. Someone else will have to deal with that. And fortunately (?), someone (starts with “G”) has.

The rejoinder to my complaint is that the bottom up approach demonstrably works, while the SDI approach demonstrably doesn’t. But that doesn’t stop me from worrying about handing over a big part of the geo-webification program to a big, privately controlled, black box. One of Jason Birch’s concerns about his elegant SEO-oriented approach to civic data publication was that the big black box was returning his data the “wrong way” (funneling certain address searches into the wrong place). We are back to hacking against a private black box API; it’s Win32 all over again folks.

My geo-webby self loves that this stuff (mostly) “just works”. My open-sourcey self worries that we are merrily affixing the golden handcuffs to ourselves. I, for one, am ambivalent about our new Googley masters.

Hacker Life

As seen on the uDig developers list:

On Mon, Aug 3, 2009 at 12:10 AM, Jody Garnett wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 3, 2009 at 5:05 PM, Jesse Eichar wrote:
>> Sorry for taking so long to reply.  The weekends are dead-zones for me.  I
>> play with the family and ignore email.
> I have the opposite arrangement :-)