Friday, March 18, 2011

News from the Montreal OSGeo Code Sprint

This week, Montreal was the host of OSGeo's 2011 Code Sprint where 29 OSGeo project developers and contributors from North America and Europe spent four intensive days working and meeting face to face for the advancement of their respective projects.
This year's sprint included teams working on the following projects: MapServer, GDAL/OGR, PostGIS, libLAS, ZOO Project, TinyOWS and GeoPrisma. In addition to the actual coding and project meetings, those sprints provide a unique way to build and maintain synergies between the projects and their developers.

On the MapServer front, the focus was on the 6.0 release. MapServer 6.0.0-beta2 should be released later this afternoon with the outcome of the sprint work.

Ruby bindings for MapServer and GDAL were brought back into maintenance, and some enhancements were made to the Oracle (OCI) driver in OGR.

The LibLAS group has been planning and setting up the bases of the new libPC (PC for Point Cloud), which will provide a generic interface to point cloud data formats. Think of libPC as the GDAL of point clouds.

The PostGIS team moved closer to the PostGIS 2.0 release with core changes to indexes, better support for raster map algebra, and several tickets closed on shp2pgsql.

The ZOO Project team worked on a new WPS service for athmospheric dispersion to simulate the dispersion of the cloud that spreads from the Japanese nuclear power plants. The team also made some good progress (testing and docs) towards the upcoming ZOO 1.2 release.

A MapServer mapfile parser has been added to TinyOWS to directly read the layer configuration information from a MapServer mapfile. This addition will significantly facilitate the use of TinyOWS as a WFS-T to complement MapServer. 

The GeoPrisma team got together to add support for two new service types (OGC WFS and WPS), as well as fixes to the print widget and some general security issues. They also started to build demos integrating the latest version of most projects present at the sprint including: MapServer, TinyOWS (with mapfile support), GeoPrisma, Zoo-Project and WKTRaster. Stay tuned to see this demo in action (link not available yet).

And of course there was the social side of the program, with a hockey night on Thursday, and hours of talk and lots of new ideas exchanged informally during the social events each night. 

Part of the group also went for a hike to the top of Mont-Royal to enjoy the view from the top of Montreal Island:

Once again, thank you to our sponsors and to our host for making this event possible, and to all the participants who made this a success.

Finally, there are already talks about the 2012 Code Sprint which is likely going to take place in Seattle (see here).

P.S. More pictures from the sprint are available on flickr.


  1. Great event, and super organization by Daniel! I personally got my big item done, tracking down and removing a performance problem with the PostGIS 2.0 indexing system. I didn't know when I'd get the time to sit down for two solid days to concentrate on it, but the sprint gave me that time. Vive le sprint!

  2. I concur on Paul's note about a superbly organized event. The venue was fabulous, the beer was plentiful, and the coding was furious. libLAS/libPC greatly benefited from the event, and I can't wait to go to Seattle next year.

  3. Let me join the thanks and congratulations to Daniel for this excellent organized event! It's great to work and contribute in such an encouraging atmosphere. Thanks to everybody for this great experience!

  4. Yes, a big shout out to Daniel for putting this on, and to the sponsors for making it possible. Merci bien!

    (I've just got off the phone with, seeking space for 2012...)


  5. Many thanks to Daniel for organizing this. I was pleased to see the progress of libPC and the budding support for MG4/L.

    Next year in Seattle...

  6. Thank you very much for the kind words. It has been a pleasure to help make this happen and to see sprint dynamics at its best once again. I'm already looking forward to next year!