A look at gvSIG 1.10

After a few days of travel across gvSIG 1.9, my impatience for its version’s bugs and other perks, now I return to the gvSIG issue. Having not touched this software for a while have been productive for me, because opening this new version and compare it with the photograph that I had on that occasion is very interesting.

clip_image001The life of a technological poet is not simple, reviewing software by obligation, by necessity or passion requires patience; use the irony with proprietary software which sponsors the header has been acceptable, but understands promoters of an open source initiative have cost me more. Also be behind a keyboard might corrupt us of freedom in the art of questioning with the time’s tone, from an artistic sarcasm until the similarity the three views that typically have two Jews when discussing in the normal way.

I must admit frankly that the progress I see with this version left me quite pleased. Running it on the Java engine version 1.6, compatible with Vista / Windows 7 and with the same project used last time … definitely it is a notable progress. I think from input it is faster and with cleaner interaction, a great work on usability even though it is Java and I’m not aimed to move to Linux yet. Surely behind these 15 minutes of my admiration, there are thousands of hours turned into code, not only by programmers in a fetal position, but an entire community that has committed to testing, to answer the lists, to promote conferences and ultimately take this tool for one of the most sustainable and systematic ways I’ve seen.

At the end of this chapter, what we all hope gvSIG is a tool that can be sustained over time, resulting from our ñ initiative, we offer to any municipality with the guarantee that will not die when the money runs out that now he has sustained. Especially in the strategic struggle that can take ESRI, AutoDesk, Intergraph and Bentley competition once it is visible (that much already is) or else by such a generalization we saw in the beginning (and has reverse side) to consider the software free less competitive and uncertain sustainability.

At the end of this chapter, with gvSIG what we all expect is a tool that can be sustainable over time, a product of our initiative with letter ñ, that we can offer to any municipality with the assurance that will not die when money that for now have been sustained it, end. Especially by strategic struggle that can undertake ESRI, AutoDesk, Intergraph and Bentley once becomes visible competition (that much already is) or also for the generalization that we saw in the beginning (and have worked hard to reverse) because they consider free software less competitive and uncertain in its sustainability.

Anyway, with half foot in Holland, I do not have much time to be flirting and my nostalgia will not always be productive. Let’s see what drew my attention at first lines.

Clean installation

Unlike previous times, in the process I had to choose only the Java virtual machine and language, which must be so. The rest is a continuous step.

It has been installed in:

clip_image002“C: Program Files gvSIG_1.10_RC1 bin gvSIG.exe”

I see no incompatibility with previous versions. But after seeing this version, even knowing it is an RC, I don’t find any reason to keep old versions.

In addition one more icon over the desktop with the gvSIG figurine will only confuse us.

For that, we must go to program files folder and uninstalled from there. There is always a folder called Uninstaller that contains a routine to delete the installation. I recommend doing so from here, because the control panel may not be the faster way or it could not display all installed versions if we have been mischievous with registration.

Interesting features.

I have little time for now, to make a comprehensive review. But it can be seen novelties to the version in the download area, for now I will focus on three developments that seem interesting to me.

The map’s location. This has had a breakthrough to be interactive with different visualization routines and fewer bugs. I even see it stronger as uDig and QGis that had already days.

It is possible to interact with it making window close-ups with the left mouse button. What it is selected in the box will be displayed on the screen. Then with right-click, you can drag the marquee, retaining the size, and also if you click it will place the window with the same size there.

clip_image003

With the wheel button it supports zoom, although I haven’t found a way to return to the original extent. Surely it must be something in the manual, which is the point where we must start.

The layers’ configuration in this location map is made in “View> set locator.”

Quick information. This is a routine of ToolTip type, which displays the fields you choose, when you place the pointer over the layer. It allows you to choose the layer, and fields, including calculated data (not stored) like area, perimeter and length.

clip_image004

I have not seen how to change the entire pink but it’s certainly possible, and it seems for me a little slow in the beginning if you choose multiple fields. I do not have resorts with that color but I do not like me to be annoyed by the Chiapanecos clip_image005, and also is likely that an AcerAspireOne isn’t the fastest machine for GIS.

The Navigation table. It is the most attractive from what I’ve seen. I had been half aware of the bugs mentioned in the mailing lists, but what I saw made me happy. It consists of a similar functionality to what it was made with Geographics’ Locate, it lifts up an object attributes table, with buttons to move to the next choice and options for the zoom or object’s selection to make them dynamic. Here it becomes attractive the location map.

clip_image006

Takes good care with the bottom buttons, so it can delete records, copy data from one element to another and save it. We also have to see if this window could not be fixed height, because it is a waste of space when there are few data, I have not tried it but if it had more of what it fit, I guess it shows a scroll bar. I selected a municipality for testing and I loaded it, then the window was half hung with a null.point.error.

Then we already try other characteristics that this version brings.

Conclusion.

Ultimately I think it is a fairly robust version with many changes that the community has been asking for. I also see that there is a great testing, the couple of bugs I’ve seen had already heard in distribution lists and surely due to my little patience for processes running in the background.

Strong challenges remain with this release, mostly for good. The conference in the Americas seems to be playing hard, but we have to put more effort to it, especially with foreign cooperation projects. Other strategies work for Europe, but for this side of the pond can be a valuable seed that can germinate explosively. In many Latin American countries there are working cooperation projects with European Union funds or bilateral funds from Germany, Holland, Finland, and Spain to name the strongest. Besides there are cooperation projects managed directly with provincial, autonomous regions or municipalities from European companies, ONGs or municipalities with good sense. In most of these projects there are cross-cutting components such as environment, heritage, vulnerability, climate change, transparency portals, etc. including desktop and web cartographic products.

It would be nice to be able to socialize more toward that niche, as the beneficiaries will accept the provided software and will maintain it as they receive manuals and training. Also, resources can be stretched more by minimizing licensing costs and ultimately the formed human capital sustainability will influence in the gvSIG diffusion, action to be appropriated by the academy and the private sector that provides services in the area of territorial ordinance. If it can affect policies for free software migration… better.

There was an interesting initiative called gvSIG and cooperation, perhaps we can insist on revives it. Investing in the systematization of experiences and dissemination is the best that Association seems to be doing so right. That’s good, and it should insist on sustainability that comes from the collective demand because the replica from third party would reinforce the progress already achieved.

It is with no sense to include support for recent CAD format; this will be a weapon that proprietary software will maintain. But it would be worth supporting GIS Portable guys to include this version soon because they have fallen short with the 1.1. We look forward to this year conference; sure there we will know more news.

From here you can download gvSIG 1.10

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