Monday, October 20, 2008

About the future of this blog

Hi again!

This posting will suppose a change in the course that this blog has been following this far.

'Going Free' was born as part of my practicum at Libre Software Master, held by Caixanova, Igalia and Universidad Rey Juan Carlos. It would be the log of my work regarding the releasing of gisEIEL project. And, being an accademic exercise, it would:
  • Be personally (and exclusively) written by me
  • Relate only to gisEIEL project, and
  • Be written in English (Yes, that was the very reason! What were you thinking of? :-D )
But in the meanwhile, it became the official news bulletin of our project, and now that the Master ends (Buaaahhhh!!!!!! LOC!!!!!! -Lots of crying-), the blog itself gets free of any conditionings. Hence from now on it may happen that you find that some postings are not written by me, but by any of the core developers and managers. Puede también ocurrir que algunas entradas estén escritas en español. Ou en galego. Oppure in Italiano. Aagso i dansk. Or in any other language, just in the same way as we decided having a single set of collaborative tools, despite what's the language of each single contributor, this way taking full advantage of the fact that we all can communicate one with all of the rest through the Internet and its tools.

A crazy experiment? Well, maybe! But as in the song:

The future will tell us
¿Qué será, será?
(or "Che sará, sará?", depending on the versions)
What will be, will be?

We don't believe in misticisms, but we strongly believe in "mestizaje". And as 'Blade Runner' followers, we also believe in "interlingua" ;-)

Our project is not very big, at least by the moment, and this fact will (I hope) let us keep things under control.

Finally, even still focused on gisEIEL, this blog may be open to other subjects. But always (and this is a promise) relating to GIS and Libre Software realms.

So: Farewell, you old blog! Wellcome (bienvenido, benvido, benvenutto, benvingut, welkome, willkomen,...) new 'Going Free'!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Call for help

Here we are again. After beach days, we are now working again in our project.

Next tasks to be undertaken are pretty much adequate to be developed by community members, what would be of great help. These are:
  1. Localizing our software to other languages. First two are Galician and English, but we won't reject any other possibility.
  2. Installing and testing gisEIEL under different OS: Unix/Linux (different distros), MacOS
In the first case, we need previously getting source code conveniently prepared, but we have already put hands on it.

In the latter, no previous action is needed: testers will have all the control on their hands. We just need that they  provide us with documentation on the experience, difficulties and solutions adopted until the application do correctly run on the selected OS.

Any volunteer to do some of these tasks?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Consell Insular de Mallorca adopts gisEIEL

After a period of checking our software, Consell Insular de Mallorca (Majorca Island Council) has decided to adopt gisEIEL as software tool to manage EIEL and to be used as integration environment for all of their other GIS applications.

To prepare that adoption, a meeting was held at Diputación de A Coruña on 23rd July 2008 along which technicians from both institutions, as well as developers from UdC Database Lab, have discussed about what are the probable difficulties to overcome and the way to do so. Information on that meeting has been published at Diputación de A Coruña web site.

Now, it is Diputación de Valencia (Valencia Province Council) technicians who are evaluating gisEIEL. Hope that they also decide joining us.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Changes in project's hosting sites

As a consequence of the decission taken regarding what forges would the project be registered in, today gisEIEL has been removed from Sourforge. Thus, project's site at that forge does now redirect traffic to both OSOR forge and gisEIEL own web sites. Nevertheless, by the moment and until we come to an agreement with Mancomún representatives, no change has already been made at this forge's site.

This way, and as commented in my previous posting, almost all of the collaborative development and support tools will be hosted only at gisEIEL site, whilst OSOR and Mancomún (this latter in the close future) will contain mainly information on the project and a code repository.

We hope that these changes may let us keep a tighter monitoring of the project, at the time that they will minimize the risk of being serving different contents at each different site: coherence and consistency must prevail over other considerations!

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Battle of the Forges, Part II: 'And the winner is ...'

Last Friday 27th I attended an OSOR meeting at Brussels, and things have cleared a lot.

OSOR's goal is to become the central observatory and repository of both code and information from and for EU public administrations. It is to be born with the aim of freedom of use, so that most of its tools will be simply of volunteer use. It thus clearly becomes the solution for gisEIEL.

Nevertheless, as Mancomún is devoted to promoting the use of FOSS in Galicia, which is gisEIEL home country, we feel that we should keep our project registered with them. This will introduce a little 'noise' in our managing tools. But anyway! Will try to cope with it!

So, our solution is using just gisEIEL project own collaborative tools, despite what's the language used (be it Galician, Spanish or English), thus building a multilingual environment that we believe that will perfectly fit the actual reality of our target users/collaborators. As an example: at the above mentioned OSOR meeting, at least five different languages were used (English, Spanish, Italian, French and Danish -and maybe also Irish-), despite the fact that English was the official one. And everybody seemed to feel quite comfortable with that situation, moving on-the-fly from a language to another, with total naturality.

So, summarizing: our next steps will hence be:
  • Registering at OSOR
  • Negotiating the (un-)use of Mancomún tools
  • Going on incorporating new members to ourcommunity (by the way: more news will follow on this issue soon)
And the winner is ... (drums sounding): "There's no winner, her Majesty!" (An America's Cup classic :-D)

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Battle of the Forges, or where should I post my project?

If you remember past entries, we have registered gisEIEL project at Mancomún and Sourceforge forges, as a way to facilitate the access to it from users coming from different regions (Galicia and the rest of the world, in this case) But now we face a problem: each forge does automatically launch its own series of supporting and collaborative tools. Result: our project "enjoys" now three bugtrackers, three sets of mailing lists, three code repositories, three svn and two sets of fora (project's site lacks of this tool).

And the question is that those tools cannot be linked one to each other. I mean, our will would be that we could set a link from Mancomún and Sourceforge bugtrackers to our own. And the same for mailing lists. But this seems not to be possible.

But the problem doesn't end here. Now, a new forge has come to town: OSOR, the European Commission's Open Source Observatory and Repository. It deals with the task of fostering the use of OS software by European administration bodies and, as a consequence, its responsibles want administration born projects to be served from their forge. And gisEIEL is administration born. And it is addressed to administration bodies use. And, of course, it has been invited to register at OSOR.

But, once again, OSOR will provide the project with new sets of collaborative tools. So, we face now the need to take the decission of registering or not at OSOR. And to do so, we will have to ballance the convenience of supporting OSOR initiative (High) against the need for new, quadruplicated collaborative tools (None, indeed)

So, the decission is ... (drums sounding ... .... .... ...

Ehmmm! Well! Keep in contact and you'll know!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Diputación de Pontevedra adopts gisEIEL

Diputación de Pontevedra (Pontevedra Province Council) has also adopted gisEIEL as their GIS tool to manage EIEL geodatabase. In some weeks, we will hold a meeting to transmit to them our know-how on that matter and to coordinate our databases, given that both provinces share borders one with each other

Friday, June 6, 2008

About project's size

Wondered about what's our project size? Do you want to know it prior to downloading code? Ok, no problem: here you have some figures about it.

Data generated using David A. Wheeler's SLOCCOUNT on gisEIEL and webEIEL

(SLOCCount, Copyright (C) 2001-2004 David A. Wheeler - SLOCCount is Open Source Software/Free Software, licensed under the GNU GPL)

1.- gisEIEL:

  • SLOC Directory SLOC-by-Language (Sorted)
    • CatalogoMetadatos
      • java=38517
      • jsp=1174
    • EIEL-FichaMunicipal java=32931
    • EIEL-Formularios-Alfanumericos java=17672
    • EIEL-GeneracionFormularios java=10251
    • EIEL-GisEIEL java=8714
    • EIEL-Validaciones java=3547
    • EIEL-Informes java=1344
    • RemisionDatosEIEL java=982
    • EIEL-GestionDeMapasGisEIEL java=948
    • EIEL-GestionPermisosGrupos java=570
    • EIEL-Autenticacion java=526
    • EIEL-Utilidades java=482
    • EIEL-DeGeomASimpleGeom java=443
  • Totals grouped by language (dominant language first):
    • java: 116927 (99.01%)
    • jsp: 1174 (0.99%)
  • Total Physical Source Lines of Code (SLOC) = 118,101
  • Development Effort Estimate, Person-Years (Person-Months) = 29.98 (359.81)
    • (Basic COCOMO model, Person-Months = 2.4 * (KSLOC**1.05))
  • Schedule Estimate, Years (Months) = 1.95 (23.40)
    • (Basic COCOMO model, Months = 2.5 * (person-months**0.38))
  • Estimated Average Number of Developers (Effort/Schedule) = 15.38
  • Total Estimated Cost to Develop = $ 4,050,493
    • (average salary = $56,286/year, overhead = 2.40)

2.- webEIEL

  • SLOC Directory SLOC-by-Language (Sorted):
    • EIEL-Web
      • java=7736
      • jsp=7374
      • php=114
    • EIEL-VisualizadorSVG java=8688
    • EIEL-Nomenclator
      • java=4952
      • jsp=91
    • EIEL-ServicioNomenclator java=2794
    • EIEL-AWMS java=1541
  • Totals grouped by language (dominant language first):
    • java: 25711 (77.23%)
    • jsp: 7465 (22.42%)
    • php: 114 (0.34%)
  • Total Physical Source Lines of Code (SLOC) = 33,290
  • Development Effort Estimate, Person-Years (Person-Months) = 7.93 (95.20)
    • (Basic COCOMO model, Person-Months = 2.4 * (KSLOC**1.05))
  • Schedule Estimate, Years (Months) = 1.18 (14.12)
    • (Basic COCOMO model, Months = 2.5 * (person-months**0.38))
  • Estimated Average Number of Developers (Effort/Schedule) = 6.74
  • Total Estimated Cost to Develop = $ 1,071,695
    • (average salary = $56,286/year, overhead = 2.40).

Hope this helped! :)

Friday, May 30, 2008

New entry points for gisEIEL project

Early this week, gisEIEL project has been registered at (and approved by) both Mancomún and Sourceforge.

Along next weeks we will set up the correspondent collaborative tools at both forges and their links with project site and viceversa.

We have also re-took contacts with gvSIG responsibles in order to gisEIEL being recognized as approved project by its parent one and thus being incorporated at its "OK List"

Regarding gisEIEL new users, we can announce that it has been adopted so far or is being tested by the following municipalities at A Coruña province:
- Abegondo
- Cambre
- Carnota
- Ortigueira
- Ponteceso
- Pontedeume
- Pontes de García Rodríguez, As
- San Sadurniño
and that it is also being tested by Consell Insular de Mallorca (Majorca Island Council) and Diputación de Valencia (Valencia Province Council)

And some figures: During the first month after its releasing, gisEIEL project site has received 1.776 visits from 971 different users, coming from 27 countries (Source: Google Analytics), with over 200 visits coming from outside Spain. This is the map:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New collaboration agreements with A Coruña University Database Lab

Once gisEIEL is released, we are now starting both a new iteration and our participation in the AGILE-OGC-EuroSDR Persistent Testbed on Geospatial Services for Research and Teaching (from now on: PTB)

gisEIEL new iteration consists of the implementation of a new set of tools, addressed to municipal governance. The first task deals with the need to analyse what are the currently available applications that may fulfil our requirements, in order to decide whether integrating them in gisEIEL or, if we conider that this integration is not feasible, developing new ones from scratch.

The concrete modules that are to be developed or integrated are:

1.Municipal properties inventoring
2.Urban planning managing
3.Cadastre managing
4.Validation, approval and versioning of BDT-EIEL data

Given that other developing teams are undertaking similar jobs (integrating GeoPISTA tools into gvSIG), we will try to coordinate our work with them, so that each of us does only develope one part of the selected tools.

As for PTB, this paneuropean project pretends:
1. Acting as an European persistent testbed for researching the interoperability between data and services sets from the member organizations.
2. Assesoring European organizations and users about current standards dealing with geospatial interoperability, in terms of compatibility, consistence, ease of use and extensibility
3. Providing a comon European environment for the teaching of geospatial interoperability standards and techniques

In consequence, both organizations will undertake the following tasks:
A.- Deputación da Coruña
1. Putting BDT-EIEL data, gisEIEL software and ideAC services to teh disposition of PTB for their free use, trial and integration with those corresponding to other member ortganizations
2. Providing the hardware infrastructure to serve and maintain those data, software and services
3. Acting on behalf of the two organizations in relation with PTB and its managing committee
4. Funding the project.

B.- A Coruña University Database Lab
1. Providing the technological know-how to undertake the tasks involved and to assorate Deputación da Coruña (DPC) staff.
2. Analysing the proposed use cases.
3. Collaborating with DPC and other member organizations to implement and test the selected use cases.
4. Writing the reports, presentations and papers that explain the developed tasks and the conclusions obtained, as well as proposing further actions.
5. Maintaining software and services, and guaranteing that incidences are analysed in a 24 h basis.
6. Forming students from A Coruña University, DPC's and municipalities' technicians in what relates to geospatial interoperability, collaborating with other PTB academical members.

It promises becoming an interesting period, doesn't it?

Friday, April 25, 2008


Uuuffff! Done! Quite a busy couple of days. With accessing problems included. Fortunately, everything seems to be fixed now.

Of course, there's still field for improvement, and despite what's the response of the community, we will go on upgrading our software. In fact, first improvement is already in the way: after presenting the software to the press and to the municipalities, I received the OK document to begin to work in the developing of municipalities management modules for gisEIEL. No rest, after releasing!!!! But that's really good news for the team.

By the way, here you have some three photos of (almost all of) the developing team taken during yesterday's events.

The team:
From left to right: Jose Ignacio Lamas, Xosé-Fco Freire, Verónica Fariña, Pedro A. González, Mª Isabel Pérez-Urría, Xoán Cabo, Miguel R.Luaces, Nuria G. Cadahía and David Trillo (Photo: Torrecilla)

Preparing presentation (Photo: Torrecilla)

Presenting (Photo: Torrecilla)

The only releasing tasks that are still missing are those that have to do with publicising the project at some forges, namely Mancomún (Galician forge) and Sourceforge (Internat ... Oh, well! You already know) But this will be done next week. We've had enough for a couple of days! :-)

A little explanation: so far I hadn't still mentioned Xoán Cabo and Xosé-Fco. Freire They are, respectively, the Provincial Councellor in charge of Cooperation and Adviosry to the Municipalities, and the Chief Architect of the Unit of Technical Advisory to the Municipalities.

And a mention has to be done to all that people at A Coruña University who have worked or are still working to capture, maintain, update, analyze and "extract juice" of BDT-EIEL data. Here are the names of the different heads of areas: Carlos Nárdiz (General Head), Pablo Regueira (General municipal information and Mapping) Joaquín Suárez (Water supply and sewage) and Alberto Varela (Roads network and Services). The names of the rest of the people are listed here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

gisEIEL is free!

And today is the day: gisEIEL has matured as libre software and starts a new and more public life, out of our laboratories at Diputación de A Coruña and A Coruña University.

Its homesite, from which you can download both code, software and documentation, is

There you will find information on how to download and install the software and on how to join our Community!.

Enjoy our software and join our team!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Código Cero publishes a brief about our project

Código Cero, Galician magazine on IT, has recently published a brief about our presentation at VIII Xornadas de Software Libre. You can read it at:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

Presentation at "Xornadas de Software Libre"

Next Monday, we will present our project at "VIII Xornadas de Software Libre", that are being held at Informatics Faculty of A Coruña University and organised by GPUL (Linux Users and Programmers Group)

The date is on Monday 7th, at 17:15 LT, and in Classroom number 3.0

Hope meeting you there

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Confirmed! Unless 'meigas', 'trolls' or even 'gnomes' ;-) play one of their awful games, R-Day will be April 24th. More news will follow soon.

In the meanwhile, and in the very Ubuntu stile (see below): We are now just 1 day to go! Exactly the same as for Ubuntu 8.04 release! Tomorrow promises to be a really interesting day: Two great projects release their last versions! ;-)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Countdown to R-Day

The countdown to Release Day (from now on R-Day) is on.

Early in the morning today, project's Coordinating Comittee has held a meeting to take some final decisions regarding R-Day. First of them is that R-Day will be one of the final days of present month (from 22nd on). It now mainly depends on the agendas of the political authorities of Diputación de A Coruña and of the Dean of Universidad de A Coruña, but all the clues address to Thursday 24th.

Second decision is that R-Day will also be the 'Municipalities Day', in the sense that at this very same date gisEIEL application will be publicly delivered to A Coruña province municipalities so that they can make free use of it and of the data contained within BDT-EIEL.

Whilst R-Day comes, a hard work is to be done, as we need:
  • Review project's documentation, to being sure that it is as complete and usable as possible
  • Refit webEIEL site in order to contain new branches regarding gisEIEL releasing and community supporting
  • Prepare and set-up community participation tools and rules
  • Getting some municipalities to previously check and test the application and some of the tools, as downloading and bug-tracking ones. These municipalities are likely to be Abegondo, Cambre and As Pontes de García Rodríguez (this latter is already confirmed, the other two will be confirmed along tomorrow morning)
So, keep an eye on this blog: present month seems to going to be really interesting for gisEIEL supporters.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Starting up of integration with gvSIG

After our meeting with gvSIG responsibles at Girona (Libre SIG Workshop), and once that Fallas and Easter week has definitely been overpassed, work of integration has begun.

During next weeks, our team will provide gvSIG's one with the following documentation:

- One complete list of the extensions developed and of the upgradings that we can provide, including a brief description of their functionalities

- Data on instalable packages and their dependencies, including information on:
  • Supported platforms: Linux, Windows, Mac, ...
  • File types: executables, compressed files, etc
  • gvSIG version on which they depend
  • Dependencies with other gvSIG extensions
  • Wether the executable files are designed to be installed on gvSIG or if, in the opposite, there's one single and complete installation file
  • Supported languages
  • Dependencies on native libraries
  • Other relevant information
Next step will consist of the analysis of this information by gvSIG team, after what both teams will finally decide what packages or utilities are integrated within next versions of gvSIG.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Some history

The history of gisEIEL begins as far in time as in 1986. That year, the first edition of EIEL database of A Coruña Province was launched.

EIEL is an achronym that stands for the Spanish of Enquiry on Local Infrastructures and Services. It consists of a huge database containing information on all of the public facilities, services, premises, etc at the municipal level, be them publicly owned and managed or not, but publicly usable, anyway.

Data are collected at settlement level, so that it is known what infrastructures or services are available at every settlement within a given municipality. In A Coruña province, as well as in the rest of Galicia, this is not a trivial issue as here there are over 4.000 queriable settlements , with more than 11.000 populated areas in total in an area of 7.900 Km sq.

So, managing those data by means of using GIS technologies is, clearly, the most adequate solution.

GIS Timeline at Diputación de A Coruña

First somehow useful application used to manage EIEL data was launched during 1995. It produced coropleth maps of the province that showed the degree of implementation of different services at each municipality.

The first actual and complete migration of EIEL data to GIS environment was held during Phase IV updating, when all of the data capture and digitization tasks were undertaken by means of ad-hoc built GIS applications.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Developing Team

Going on with the publication of the names of the responsibles of the project, noblesse obliges to publicise who are the members of the developing team. These are:

Area coordinators

  • Nieves R. Brisaboa
  • Miguel Rodríguez Luaces

Group coordinator

  • David Trillo Pérez


Version 1.0:

  • José Ramón Paramá Gabía
  • Miguel Rodríguez Luaces
  • José Ramón Ríos Viqueira
  • Antonio Fariña Martínez
  • José Antonio Cotelo Lema
  • Fco. Javier Rodríguez Martínez
  • Juan Ramón López Rodríguez
  • Ángeles Saavedra Places
  • Miguel Rodríguez Penabad
  • Fco. Javier Morán Rúa
Versions 2.0 and 2.1:
  • David Trillo Pérez
  • José Ignacio Lamas Fonte
  • Alejandro Dobarro Ansede
  • Verónica Fariña Iglesias
  • Mª Isabel Pérez-Urria Lage
  • María Jesús López Otero
  • Antonio Fariña Martínez
  • José Antonio Cotelo Lema
  • Nuria Gómez Cadahía

The Coordinating Committee

The current members of the Coordinating Committee of gisEIEL project are
  1. On behalf of DPC:
    1. Xosé-Fco. Freire Corzo, Head of Unit of Technical Advisory to the Municipalities (SATM)
    2. Pedro A. González Pérez, Technical Architect of SATM and Technical Responsible of EIEL related projects (gisEIEL, webEIEL, bdtEIEL and ideAC)
    3. Miguel Lorenzo Turbón, Head of Sub-unit of Technological Innovation
  2. On behalf of UdC Datalab:
    1. Miguel Rodríguez Luaces, Head of developing team

Monday, February 4, 2008

gisEIEL is getting prepared to be released

On a meeting of the Coordination Committee of the project, held on 18th January this year, it has been agreed that all of the source code developed so far will be released by the end of February.

To do so, the following conditions will be taken into consideration:
  • Licensing: At a first moment, the idea was that of licensing the code under European Public License (EUPL), being the one promoted by the European Commission (herunder EC), but given the contents of so called "Report on the Study of the Compatibility Mechanisms of the EUPL (European Union Public License) v.1.0", available here , and given that the base software used within our project is licensed under GPL (GNU Public License) 2.0, it was finally agreed that the selected license would be GPL 2.0 itself.
  • Authorship will be held by A Coruña University Database Lab (hereunder UdC Datalab) and by each of the individual developers who have contributed to the project.
  • Intellectual property rights, nevertheless, will be held by Diputación de A Coruña (hereunder DPC) as a consequence of the contents of the different agreement charts that have been signed so far to develop the project.
  • The main site, from which the code will be released, will be hosted at webEIEL site, but it will also be publicised at:
  • As Mancomún tools are only in Galician, Sourceforge ones are more likely to be used
  • A wiki should complement the main site
  • Materials to be released:
    • Project documentation
      • Architecture and functionalities description
      • Classes description (Java Doc)
      • Users Guide
      • Developers Guide
      • Data Model
    • Source code package
    • Bit code -> Through Java Web Start, to avoid updating problems
    • Quick start data package
  • Community support:
    • Launching of two mailing lists:
      • Developers
      • Users
    • Keeping historical archives of mailing lists
    • Launching of a bug tracking system
    • If community grows up beyond our expectations, new mailing lists and phora will be launched
    • Project related blogs planet
Moreover what preceeds, during SIG Libre workshop we will meet gvSIG responsibles in order to incorporate to this project some of the utilities developed for gisEIEL, such as "Edition Tools" .