Lunchtime Semaphore

from and to 372433 143758 48 N

Open source

Since I installed Linux for the first time in 1997, and began using it exclusively in 2003, my confidence in the open source model grew up quickly. I’m now convinced that it is a great way to develop amazing softwares with a quality that can’t be reach using a close source model.

There are several reasons for that and many books have been written on the topic, so their arguments won’t be repeated here. To sum up and to be pragmatic, I use it because it works and when it doesn’t do exactly what I need, I can (and I do) change it to suit me.

Over the past few years, I grew up more and more involved in the bazaar and contributed to several projects.

Among these project are:

  • Of course the Orfeo toolbox (OTB) (for processing of remote sensing images), I’ve been forced into it in 2006, but it didn’t take long to convince me that amazing stuffs could be done with its solid architecture. As OTB is tracked by Ohloh, here is a better view of my contributions. On top of that, I’ve been handling the server (website, blog, bugtracker, dashboard, repository) since 2008 and realized the several version of the OTB live CD.
  • As it is the strong underlying foundation of the Orfeo Toolbox, I’m also a user of ITK and contributed several patches over the years.
  • Another consequences of OTB is my daily use of CMake/CTest: as we are using Mercurial I’ve contributed a patch to combine cmake and mercurial
  • Cdash is the natural extension of CTest to display the nightly tests results, experimenting with its installation, I submitted some bug reports and a patch to support Mercurial.
  • In OTB, the sensor projection is handled by ossim (another great remote sensing project). As I was working quite heavily on that, I’ve sent a number of patches that have been successfully integrated by the ossim team.
  • When I was playing with my GPS trackel, I used gpsbabel for a while and sent some small additional functions

That’s the magic of open source, if you need something now, you don’t have to wait until some company is willing to implement the feature you need, you can do it yourself and now. You are the only limitation.