The Windows Open Source Developer diaries–The beginning

Next: The Windows Open Source Developer Diaries–Installing stuff >

I don’t class myself as an Open Source developer really. I have used Open Source GIS in a few occasions but it was always been the Windows flavour. I never used any Linux distributions nor have I written/contributed a single line of code even for the windows version of these software. My only claim in the Open Source development world is the development of the Silverlight Interface for Mapserver and a couple of linear referencing functions for for SQL Server Spatial Tools. Still very Microsoft focused as you can tell.

I always wanted to work on an application with a complete open source stack but never had the opportunity/time. Until now that is.

Because just the other day, I have been asked to investigate the necessary technologies to create an open source web-editing application and build a proof of concept prototype. Fantastic! Just what I’ve been waiting for.

The application should be running on Windows (yes- still windows-focused) and require login for different users/roles so I guess I would be needing a Geospatial CMS and for now at least, my first try would be Cartaro. Cartaro is a Drupal distribution using PostGIS, GeoServer and OpenLayers, all of them quite mature on their windows versions.

I have worked with PostGIS and I am pretty confident with it to deliver what’s needed. On the other hand, I never used GeoServer and have very limited javascript experience. I would assume though that I would not need to jump into too deep with Geoserver as I would only use it to setup my map services (right?).The things I am a bit worried about to be honest, are OpenLayers as it would require to get my teeth into javascript, and also whether all these technologies would work nicely together especially in a windows environment. I have been on record before as saying that a lot of times FOSS seem to leave windows users behind…

So this will be a series of posts probably weekly, day job permitting, recording my experiences while I download and install things, trying to to make them work and the frustrations and tribulations I am sure I will experience! This will then serve as a nice reference for me and hopefully help others willing to go the same path. You may see me in forums asking questions or on twitter sharing my thoughts. And of course feel free to leave any comments on this and the next posts especially if you notice I have taken any wrong turns!

Let the games begin…

Next: The Windows Open Source Developer Diaries–Installing stuff >


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