Make Smarter - Geospatial Revolution, Selling FOSS to Government

Gads! It would appear I forgot about my monthly Make Smarter last month. And by forgot I mean I totally saw it coming and jumped out of the way while sparring with a bunch of other projects. Never fear – the month off means I have a backlog of brain-boosting materials to share.

First up, Episode 2 of Penn State’s Public Broadcasting series Geospatial Revolution is out. If you didn’t catch the first one, these are extremely high-quality videos introducing people to GIS. Episode 2 includes chapters on creating an interactive city, powering business, and finding a healthy future.

Cameron Shorter of LISAsoft has a very good talk called How to sell Open Source to Government. He does a great job in addressing many of the problems getting open source software in public agencies, giving 7 steps to help get you in the door. A transcript is available on Cameron’s site.

On the CSS front, I ran across 3 very useful sites. From nettuts, The 30 CSS Selectors you Must Memorize takes you through a whole bunch of CSS selectors, from the common to the obscure. It also includes browser compatibility (read: see which breaks on what version of IE) for each selector. CSS3: A Practical Introduction walks you through CSS3 and it’s functionality in a visual, slideshow style format. And CSS Processor will take your ugly, hacked-up CSS code and turn it into something neat and easy to read.

On the JavaScript front, nettus has a couple of really good tutorials. Working with the Official jQuery Templating Plugin walks you through an example of using the new Microsoft contributed jQuery template plugin. The Essentials of Writing High Quality JavaScript is an excerpt from Stoyan Stefanov’s JavaScript Patterns that goes over a host of tips for writing clean, maintainable JavaScript.

Via Vospe, here’s a slideshow by Francios Marier based on his book A Brief History of Free and Open Source Software.

And now for a few quick hitters: