Gordon Haff

See the following -

An Open Source Mapping Primer

As you've surfed the web, you've surely come across many sites using embedded maps to display data. Humans are visual creatures, so presenting temperatures, crime statistics, or population densities on a map often makes quickly discerning patterns and spatial relationships easier than presenting the same facts as a boring table. Visualizations based on maps can be quite sophisticated and even show patterns across time as well as space; Maps Mania is one blog showcasing many great examples of online maps. But displaying data on an embedded map doesn't need to be a complicated affair. You can do it using open source tools. In this post, I offer some tips for getting started doing this...

Read More »

How Open Source Is Changing the Pace of Software Development

...as new computing architectures and approaches rapidly evolve for cloud computing, for big data, for the Internet of Things (IoT), it's also becoming evident that the open source development model is extremely powerful because of the manner in which it allows innovations from multiple sources to be recombined and remixed in powerful ways. Consider the following examples...

Read More »

Interview with Simon Phipps-Patent Trolls and Open Document Format

Gordon Haff interview with OSI's Simon Phipps conducted on July 31st. Phipps talks recent US software patent case decisions and why they're so significant as well as the recent UK government decision about open document formats. Who are the winners and the losers? Read More »

What Can You do with Open Data?

Play a word association game and the word "open" will almost surely be followed by "source." And open source is certainly an important force for preserving user freedoms and access to computing. However, code isn't the only form of openness that's important. Open data has been discussed for at least a decade. At the OSCON conference in 2007, Tim O'Reilly kicked off a bit of a ruckus when he suggested that open data might actually be more important than open code. Open data in this context mostly referred to the ability to export the user-created "Web 2.0" data, which was becoming important at that time. Tim Bray, then at Sun Microsystems, highlighted the issue when he wrote...

Why the Operating System Matters Even More in 2017

Operating systems don't quite date back to the beginning of computing, but they go back far enough. Mainframe customers wrote the first ones in the late 1950s, with operating systems that we'd more clearly recognize as such today—including OS/360 from IBM and Unix from Bell Labs—following over the next couple of decades. An operating system performs a wide variety of useful functions in a system, but it's helpful to think of those as falling into three general categories. First, the operating system sits on top of a physical system and talks to the hardware. This insulates application software from many hardware implementation details...