2008 (old posts, page 10)

Like Slashdot, Only Worse

This came up in my Google blog search feed today:

If you are into [P]ython, GIS and [D]jango then you must check out GeoDjango.

For real.

Stuff like this makes me really want to get going in the python world.

Huh? You don't even use Python? This is like me telling people where to go for a good fast food burger.


Re: Like Slashdot, Only Worse

Author: Matt Priour

A big un-Thank you to those that lead the charge to resuscitate SlashGeo when it was on its last gasp. Re-aggregating old news does not add to the conversation, geo or otherwise. Kudos to you Sean for your Planet GS greasemonkey script so that I do not have to bother with such drivel in my reader.

Re: Like Slashdot, Only Worse

Author: James Fee

But what about eating a Bison Burger?

Re: Like Slashdot, Only Worse

Author: Sean

The signal to noise ratio on Planet Geospatial is so small now that I just stay away instead of filtering.

Re: Like Slashdot, Only Worse

Author: Alexandre Leroux

Hello Sean, I'm Alex, the main enthusiast behind Slashgeo. I am not the one who wrote the story you are referring to. We have about 7 active "editors", all volunteers, no revenue other than minor donations, including no ads. I hope I'll have the chance to meet you some day Sean (and why not, Matt too :-). I like your blog's content and general way of expressing your opinion. I understand Slashgeo.org is not targeting people like you at the moment, who already keep themselves very well informed of what's going on in our dear geospatial community. However, I don't understand why you have such a pleasure to hate us. We gain nothing other than the relative satisfaction of providing a good service for a community we love. With now over 1,500 registered members and over 6,000 daily unique IP addresses reached, at least some people seems to be satisfied with what we do and that's why I (and other editors) spend so much personal time on this project. Sure, at the moment, the number of pertinent user comments on Slashgeo is rather low, but hey, it has to start somewhere. I guess our actual readers are interested in our aggregation of the "most pertinent geonews" (yes, that's subjective) out there. Not everyone has the time or will to monitor several RSS feeds. For your information, Slashgeo also has a lot of stories which are not featured on PlanetGS (which I am no longer reading until my return to office from parental leave). I hope one day you'll help us instead of demolishing our efforts made of good intentions. Sincerest regards, Alex for Slashgeo.org

Re: Like Slashdot, Only Worse

Author: Sean

As high profile as your site is, you must expect some feedback when you post a worthless or even harmfully misinforming (more rare, fortunately) news item, right?

Re: Like Slashdot, Only Worse

Author: Alexandre Leroux

I don't consider Slashgeo high profile :-) Let's be honest, it's a small site useful to some but not that many (or at least not the geospatial community as a whole). Maybe if we ever attract a critical mass of users the discussions on Slashgeo will become particularly challenging and informative? We're not there yet. In my opinion, one reason for this is fragmentation: a lot of geobloggers share great information and opinions, but the best bits are scattered on the web. I originally wanted Slashgeo (registered non-profit and ad-free) as a place to gather the geospatial community together. Time will tell whether we'll succeed or not and to which extent. If it fails, so be it (I'll recover a lot of free time! :-), at least we provided a tool thousands of geospatial professionals will have appreciated for a few years (and several others will have despised ;-). And yes, I'm all for constructive criticism. In fact, that's one of the very goals of a community-oriented website: improve ourselves with the help of others. I dare end this comment with a quote from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (sorry, I was a quote fan a decade ago :-): "If someone’s ungrateful and you tell him he’s ungrateful, okay, you’ve called him a name. You haven’t solved anything". That's why I prefer constructive critics. Regards Sean -

KML Standardization

One thing that nobody has mentioned is how much the OGC needed KML standardization. KML originates from 100,000 different domains? I don't know how many domains provide WxS, but I'll eat my keyboard if it's 10,000. I'm guessing it's closer to 1000.

Previously, you didn't know about the OGC unless you were near the SDI scene. This raises its profile by several orders of magnitude.


Re: KML Standardization

Author: mpd

I'm not sure that needed is correct. Has benefited from the halo effect of seems more like it to me.

More Gardening

Kurt's getting his garden started too. Are people from a farming or gardening tradition more likely to cultivate open source software?


Re: More Gardening

Author: Yves Moisan

"Are people from a farming or gardening tradition more likely to cultivate open source software?" I like the analogy. All I can tell is that being able to see what's under the hood of FOSS software has made me more of a "hands-on" person. I started playing the bass guitar recently after 20 years of wanting to and I have a feeling the FOSS philosophy of "[you can] do it yourself" I've been dipping into for the last few years has something to do with my move.

Python re.cipe

Kurt Schwer says:

Perl programmers are assumed to know regular expressions. I think python programmers should get more exposure to regular expressions.

So, this morning I needed to process a KML document, adding IDs derived from a name element to all parent Placemark elements. Python's regular expressions aren't as expressive or as built in as Perl's, but there's nothing you can't do by using a callable object as the second argument to re.sub. To convert this:


to this:

<Placemark id="b5">

I just executed the following statements at the interpreter prompt:

>>> kmlin = open('temp.kml').read()
>>> def sub_id(m):
...     g = m.groups()
...     return '<Placemark id="%s">%s<name>%s' % (g[1].lower(), g[0], g[1])
>>> import re
>>> kmlout = re.sub(r'<Placemark>(\s+)<name>(\w\d)', sub_id, kmlin)
>>> f = open('grid.kml', 'w')
>>> f.write(kmlout)
>>> f.close()



The fava beans we planted 16 days ago finally came up yesterday. They have been delayed by cold weather: April has been a bit wintry in spite of the La Niña. Recent prognostic discussion credits the MJO (Madden-Julien Oscillation) with modulating the affect of this La Niña on the continental US. The spinach is doing well, a few turnips survived, but no carrots at all. We'll sow again this afternoon.


I'm changing the license on my blog from cc by-sa 2.5 to by-sa 3.0. You are free to share and remix the content of my blog, including code and data examples. In return, please attribute my work. On the Web, simply link to my work's URI. Off the Web (paper docs, slide shows, etc), place my name and the source URI, or an equivalent citation, in the text near my work or the derived work. For example:

Sean Gillies, http://sgillies.net/blog/733/attribution

Thank you.


Heads explode as Adena Schutzberg links to the Great Orange Satan.


Re: Pop!

Author: Paul Ramsey

Gotta balance out those global-warming-as-myth postings somehow. Karma will be restored...

Re: Pop!

Author: Allan Doyle

I'd rather have Adena link to more stuff like this than see milquetoast postings. If a blog isn't going to make you think, what good is it? It's not like she endorsed the premise.

Re: Pop!

Author: James Fee

She should have linked to Drudge instead. To be honest it was weird seeing it posted on APB, but the reaction is a little much.

Re: Pop!

Author: Sean

Still popping! They'll have to link to a dozen wacky WSJ op-eds to make up for this.

Re: Pop!

Author: KoS

Not sure why you think it's "popping". There isn't that many comments. Now, if there were dozens, then "popping" could be right. Btw, what do you mean by Great Orange? And, everyone is wacky, it's all a matter of perspective. :) KoS

Shell History

Meme of the day. Why not:

sean@lenny:~$ history|awk '{a[$2]++} END{for(i in a)
> {printf "%5d\t%s\n",a[i],i}}'|sort -rn|head
  113   ls
   72   cd
   65   hg
   30   svn
   25   ssh
   23   sudo
   21   gvim
   19   paster
   14   python
   14   ./bin/instance

That last one is a Plone buildout server controller and test runner.


Re: Shell History

Author: Dylan Beaudette

history | awk '{a[$2]++} END{for(i in a) {printf "%5d\t%s\n",a[i],i}}' | sort -rn | head
   94   l
   93   cd
   55   sudo
   51   exit
   22   grass63
   14   ssh
   11   rm
   11   ps
    9   aptitude
    8   svn

Shorter Paul Smith

Christopher Schmidt rocks your world.


Re: Shorter Paul Smith

Author: Paul Smith

Heh, it's true, lotta open source MetaCarta love. Artem, too. ;)

Re: Shorter Paul Smith

Author: Sean

Thanks for being a good sport about the paraphrasing, Paul. I'm a mapnik fan too.