Archive for personal

Cheers to 2016

It’s been quite awhile since I did one of these, so here goes.  Some notables from 2016:

  • pycsw: the release of 2.0 “Doug” provided the first OGC compliant CSW 3.0 implementation, as well as Python 3 support.  These two major enhancements provide the long term backbone for the project moving into the future
  • GeoHealthCheck: GHC provided the inspiration for the Harvard Hypermap project.  In addition, the project is being used in numerous internal environments and has caught the itch of Just van den Broecke! It’s amazing what happens when you put a UI on top of workflows
  • PyWPS: version 4.0 was released which represented a major update/rewrite/licence change of the project.  For WOUDC, we’ve implemented PyWPS as part of real-time workflows for data validation.  Finally, the project has moved along the OSGeo incubation process nicely and is hours away from being submitted for project graduation
  • pygeometa: the little metadata creation tool now supports the WMO Core Metadata Profile
  • GeoNode: now an OSGeo project!
  • health
    • another year (circa 2012) of not smoking
    • I lost 35 lbs in 2016 thanks to a true, deep commitment to the Greek/Mediterranean diet. A huge thank you goes out to Olive Tomato, which has provided awesome recipes and advice

For 2017:

  • pycsw: look for some big improvements to our test suite, as well as ElasticSearch support
  • pygeometa: move to YAML as the configuration format
  • PyWPS OSGeo incubation: we’re almost there! Hoping to complete this by spring
  • GeoHealthCheck: implementing a GHC API and plugin mechanism are two key enhancements which we will hopefully tackle at the OSGeo Code Sprint in Daytona Beach.  As well, as following the developments of newly formed OGC Quality of Service and Experience Domain Working Group

Wishing you and yours a healthy and happy 2017!

Tips on Finding a Job

Great post by Dave here on his experience and suggestions / ideas on finding a job.  Upbeat, positive and encouraging.  Congratulations and good post Dave!

Cheers to 2008

Since I did this last year, I thought I’d try this again for 2008. Here’s the lowdown for my 2008:

  • Geospatial Catalogues: the saga continues.  I have dug deeper into this area this year as part of my day-job, and find that interoperability is difficult to achieve in the OGC Catalogue space.  Clearly there is a balance between abstraction/flexibility and ease of integration.  And the two step approach to discovering, say, OGC WMS layers (invoke GetRecords, then chain to GetRecordById) is cumbersome, IMHO.  At the end of the day, the most common use cases (that I have seen) are publishing data and services, and being able to query for them (data, service endpoints, service resources [layers/feature types/coverages]) with spatial, temporal or aspatial predicates.  And have the content come back in some usable format for display or binding.  Seems easy, eh?
  • Publications: glad to see “Open Source Approaches in Spatial Data Handling” was finally published.  Alot of the well known folks in the foss4g community contributed to this.  At the same time, the release took so long (like many publishing processes) that some items ended up dated.  Overall, I think the book gives a good viewpoint into foss4g at this time, and makes me think about how far we’ve come.  It’s good for the community to be published in this format / manner
  • JavaScript frameworks: they are everywhere.  Late this year I started delving back into the application space, and find these challenging, compared to the days of doing things by hand anyway.   2009 should shake off alot of rust I think
  • MapServer:  We just launched a new website.  Beers for hobu!  Also, lots of OGC CITE fixes and improvements, and next generation of OGC standards, adding updateSequence to OWS support
  • Python fun again: it’s been fun contributing to owslib for SOS, OWS and Filter support.  OWS Common presents a huge opportunity to abstract codebase when it comes to next generation OGC standards.  As well, I’ve been using Python for day-to-day scripts.  Not bad!
  • kralidis.ca turns 10: from humble beginnings, alot less done by hand now, and easier to manage (thanks WordPress!).

Other stuff:

  • Basement renovation: this took up most of my time this past year.  Frustrating, expensive (I should have been a plumber or electrician!), but gratifying.  Took a bit longer than expected, and still not 100% finished, but the major work is done.  I think this needed to happen for the property overall, even if it means I have more space than I could possibly need :).  N.B. if you ever want to lose weight, do a home reno;  I shed 20lbs!
  • New job: I started a new job in the fall, which promises to be very exciting and satisfying, especially given the state of the geospatial web.  The new gig will give me more opportunity for discovery and SensorWeb information management spaces.  So I’m grateful for the opportunity.  I’ve also been having fun 1/2 time with the GeoConnections program again, so it’s fun to work with some previous colleagues and getting acquianted with new faces who are helping to shape and evolve our national infrastructure.  So thanks again to those for helping me along a tough road and getting me here; I owe you big time 🙂

For 2009:

  • Work:  January 11 will mark 10 years of civil service for yours truly
  • Data dissemination: this is my key function in my day job for the months to come.  I look forward to evolving what started off as a very high level strategy into an architecture all the way to implementation.  This will be fun!
  • Standing up usable catalogues: you’ll see a few OGC Cat2.0 instances this year.
  • MapServer: more CITE fixes for SOS and O&M.  One thing I’d really like to see for 2009 is official compliance for OGC standards in MapServer
  • T.O. Code Sprint in March: this event is going to be fun.  What could be better than foss4g and beers, all in the centre of the universe 🙂
  • Renovations: I think that is it, for this place, for now.  Almost three years and it’s time for a rest in this space
  • Property: I think it will be a good time to buy in 2009.  The question (for me) is where.  Locally, or down south?

All the best for 2009 for you and your loved ones!

My Nearest Book

From Paul.  Here’s my sentence:

“This comes down to how SOA is defined”.

Thomas Erl, Service-Oriented Architecture: Concepts, Technology, and Design. 2005

This phrase is part of a section which discusses what SOA is (and isn’t).

Rules of this meme:

  • Grab the nearest book.
  • Open it to page 56.
  • Find the fifth sentence.
  • Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
  • Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.

Rocking the Loser Phone

loser phoneI was compelled to write this after reading about Paul’s experiences. A couple of months ago, my Motorola E810 came to a screeching halt: the display died. As well, the battery recharge became spotty at best. So I was in need of a new phone. I called my wireless provider, who give me a story about having to lock into another 3 year contract to get a new phone.

I was very hesitant this time about locking in again; I’ve taken a beating on cellphone costs in the past, and I didn’t want to sign up for another “plan” again until I had reviewed all my options thoroughly. So I wasn’t given a phone. I asked if I could cancel my contract, which would have costed something ridiculous.

So at this point I was stuck. A friend lent me an old cellphone which I’ve been using in the meantime until I figure out what to do (another friend has since coined it the “loser phone” 🙂 ). So don’t laugh too hard next time you see me with a circa 2000 cellphone / brick on the table 🙂

What’s a guy to do? The prices of wireless communications are ridiculous! Is it like this everywhere (Man, my Vodafone was dirt cheap when I was last in Europe). Contract? Pay as you go?

I couldn’t agree with you more, Paul!

Cheers to 2007

Since I did this last year, I thought I’d try this again for 2007. Here’s a lowdown for my 2007:

  • REST is really here: and as popular as ever. For me, I finally realized that REST was a style, not a syntax, API or schema for that matter. Sean’s recent post sums it up quite nicely. It’s nice to see the OGC has acknowledged this
  • Mass Market is really here: Things like Google, Yahoo Maps, and lowering the barrier to application development and, more ultimately, content, are paramount in the Web 2.0 sphere of things. Defacto standards / approaches matter
  • Geospatial Catalogues: I blogged about this last year. Even with Cat 2.0 CSW / ebRIM formally approve, where is catalogue interoperability? Is a federated / distributed catalogue approach realistic in the near future?
  • MapServer:
    • SOS Server: There has been much development here, including forthcoming support for 1.0.0, as well as implementation of POST support in mapogcsos.c. SWE DataBlock has also been implemented. We’ve also introduced automated testing for SOS in msautotest/wxs/sos.map. And a slew of bug fixes, memory leak fixes, etc. So I’m really happy about how SOS Server support has progressed this year. It goes without saying that major props to Assefa are in order here, as well Charlton and other MapServer SOS Server testers who have provided valuable feedback
    • OWS Common: Through increased usage in SOS Server, as well as the WCS 1.1 Server support (thanks Frank!), mapowscommon.c usage has been slowly increasing in the codebase to reuse existing functionality. This is a result of the OGC standards gradually adopting OWS Common for their “common” bits of XML and such. mapowscommon.c is also becoming more robust as a result of more integration and testing. I’m also happy about the increased libxml2 support in MapServer. We used libxml2’s xpath functionality in supporting SWE DataBlock, and have generic utilities now defined in maplibxml2.c
    • I’m happy to have become more involved in the MapServer codebase and project overall as part of the Project Steering Committee. There is definitely alot going on and alot to do, and the enthusiasm, commitment and helpful nature of the developers is great. MapServer is a special project to me, starting in early 2000 as part of my research / dissertation. The rest, as they say, is history. Oh, and “STYLES=” is optional again 🙂
  • Publications: I was glad to see “The Geospatial Web” published this year. Nice to see new folks and goings on out there
  • Adventures in Python: I decided to dive into python finally. With some sound advice from Sean, I embraced stuff like Genshi and etree. I managed to stand up a generic SensorML generator which I’m happy with, as far as my first Python project goes. My next goals are to experiement with doing things differently (like SQLAlchemy; I had to use good old SQL scripting as I ran out of time)

In other news:

  • Construction time continues: I did some major work on my place, including new fencing, landscaping/gardening, central air conditioning, as well as a shiny new veranda. A bit more curb appeal for sure
  • Condo: I finally picked up my condo this year. After much thought, I decided to sell. This was a beautiful property in a can’t lose location! Onwards
  • Lifestyle changes: Perhaps my biggest victory is quitting smoking. I have been absolutely smoke free for all of 2007. I can’t say that there haven’t been times where I wanted one from time to time, but I feel much healthier and better overall

So as 2008 quickly approaches, here are a few things I’m looking forward to:

  • MapServer: I look forward to continuing in helping more with OGC support, as well as become more familiar with the inner workings of the codebase.
  • OpenLayers: I really want to get into OpenLayers this year. I have not done much on client side work since the initial Mapbuilder days
  • New Springer publication: keep an eye out for a new, exciting book on GIS and open source this year
  • OWSContext and KML: it will be useful to see a resolution or unification of some sort between these two standards
  • OpenSearch: I think OpenSearch, with the geo extensions, will make a big hit this year. Nothing like a simple search facility which is already supported in browsers
  • I’m renovating my basement this year. Gutting the entire basement and installing a new bathroom and kitchen. I hope to have this done by summer 2008 — wish me luck!

So that’s it from here. I wish you and your loved ones the very best in the holiday season and for 2008!

Disaster Steak

(preamble: if you know me well enough, you’ll know that I use the term “disaster” in multiple modes / contexts. In this case, “disaster steak” is a good thing).

the beginning

This was a steak night. I had some friends over this weekend and sparked up the BBQ. I picked up some (big) sirloin steaks from Costco, made sure beer was stocked and away I went. Here’s how one makes a simple steak to die for:

  • wash down steaks with cold water
  • place steaks in a large bowl
  • douse steaks with balsamic vinegar (white or red) and rub
  • douse steaks with olive oil and rub
  • sprinkle steaks with Montreal steak spice (you can make your own if you really want)
  • seal the bowl and place in the fridge for an hour or so to let the steaks marinate
  • heat up the BBQ and slap on the steaks (N.B. have booze, appetizers, both, or whatever you want along the way — it’s always better than everyone just sitting there watching [and waiting]!)

appetizerson the BBQ

  • cook steaks as desired (I like mine _well_ done)
  • serve and enjoy!

bon appetite!

Click on any of the photos to see the whole process in pictures. Pretty simple, not much fuss and tastes awesome — disaster!

Anyone have any pointers or other ideas? I’d be glad to hear them!

Nice Stop Smoking Timeline

Check out this graphic I found (thanks digg), which shows the effects of smoking cessation. I also saw this recently in the doctor’s office, and found it really helpful and encouraging.

I’m glad to say I’ve been 100% smoke free (via Zyban for a month) for almost six months now (the only New Years Resolution that I’ve kept this long!).

Spring in Ottawa

Headed to Ottawa for the OGC meetings. After waking up at an unsightly hour to catch the plane, we found out that Ottawa International Airport is shut down because of the weather there. Martin (Daly), who travelled from the UK (and 25C conditions), sent me a photo from the scene. Some days I miss living there. Some days (like snow in April, ice storms, snow in October), I don’t.Snow in Ottawa, 16 April 2007

Update: I’m in Ottawa now.  It is terrible outside.  Imagine rain, snow, cold.  Near wipe-out on the way to the hotel.  Worst ever!!

Five Things

Sean tagged me, so here are five things that you probably didn’t know about me:

  1. I have dual citizenship. I was born and raised in Canada, and got my Greek citizenship in 2005
  2. After undergrad, a few of my buddies and I decided to forget about looking for work, and packed our backpacks for Europe for a couple of months. We visited 10 countries. After blowing the bank, it was time to come home. Hands down one of the best experiences in my life
  3. My bachelor’s degree was in social / economic and urban geography. Stuff like urban growth patterns and gentrification were things that really interested me (they still do)
  4. I didn’t learn how to program or anything UNIX-ish for that matter until 1998. My first introduction to this world was by Mike (Adair of mapbuilder fame) who suggested I take UNIX training. I was hooked. The rest, as they say, is history. Thanks again Mike!
  5. I’m mildly considering a PhD, having bounced around research ideas with Carleton and McMaster. I’d like to do something which combines my social/economic and urban undergrad degree and the stuff I do nowadays. The showstopper being the feasibility of actually doing it relative to having a life, salary and mortgages

I hereby tag Cameron, Jody and Tyler.

Modified: 24 January 2007 08:20:58 EST