Open Source Peer Bonus

I was recently awarded a Google Open Source Peer Bonus (OSPB), by Cameron Shorter, which was such a lovely surprise! Thank you so much, Cameron, for nominating me. I hadn’t heard of the program until I was awarded it, but it allows Google employees to recognise external (eg non-Google) contributors to open source. The really great thing is that it recgonises all types of contributors, including (copied straight from their blurb):
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Blogging in the time of Covid

(with apologies to Gabriel García Márquez) It’s weird posting to a mostly tech blog at the moment. The world is on fire, but life goes on, yet I’ve felt utterly paralysed and unable to write anything here. It feels strange and somehow wrong to write about tech stuff, which lets face it, is not that important in the grand scheme of things, when so much other stuff is going on. Yet here we are, blogging.
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Devrelcon2019

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.
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Improving Documentation With a Codesprint

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I Should Tell You About Revealjs

It’s a long time since I used any kind of powerpoint-ish presentation building software (2016, I think). My software of choice these days is RevealJS (https://github.com/hakimel/reveal.js/) with the occasional foray into using Big (https://github.com/tmcw/big). The premise is simple in both cases- write your presentation out in markdown or html and let javascript and css do the work to create the slide deck. This approach appeals greatly because there’s no need to plan the slides in advance, you can write them as you go, in a text editor.
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Weeknotes Are Coming

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:
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Not Everyone Wants To Use Your Software

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).
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Portable GIS version 6

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.
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FOSS4GUK 2019

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.
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Going to a codesprint as a non-coder

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!
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