News Roundup - June 2009

What follows is notable news and happenings that I want to purge from my bookmarks folder. It will be a combination of things you already know spiced with things you probably won’t care about. I apologize in advance.

The big news of the month is the release of OpenLayers 2.8. Some highlights are:

  • Support for drawing text on vectors and multi-feature selection for vectors
  • Support for snapping (!) while drawing vectors
  • Support for ArcGIS Server data, as well as ArcXML
  • Support for delayed map rendering
  • Improved KML support
  • All kinds of other improvements and bug fixes
I haven't gotten around to trying it yet, but I aim to rectify that situation shortly. The compatibility notes are extremely short, so I'm hoping for a smooth upgrade.

In the enormous-honking-IDE department, a couple of IDE’s had new releases this month. Eclipse has released v3.5, Galileo, with many Eclipse projects rolling out new versions at the same time, including PDT 2.1 which will support PHP 5.3. Eclipse is a monster of a development environment, covering almost any language/technology you can think of. NetBeans also released v6.7 of their IDE, including support for Sun’s Kenai hosting site and Apache Maven. It also includes PHPUnit support for easy testing and support for SQL code completion in the PHP editor. I might have to check that out.

There’s a really interesting post over on Making Maps: DIY Cartography that talks about a student project to create a psychogeographical map of an area on their campus. The site describes psychogeography as:

...the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals.
It's a really different way to look at mapping and cartography, and it's definitely worth a read.

Six Revisions is a great site of the numbered lists variety, and their post on Firebug extensions had a number I hadn’t heard of. Now to weight the benefit of some more plugins against my increasingly creaky Firefox. They also put out a good list of image optimizing tools because, no, your header image isn’t worth 300kb of my pipe.

Visual Economics has a cool map showing GDP vs National Debt by Country. It helps put the ballooning deficit in the US in some perspective. If I saw those numbers in a spreadsheet they probably wouldn’t have registered with me.

Finally, in news of the weird, the English language is changing, and it’s one of the few times in English where the rules seem to make sense. First I ran across a post telling me I can legally put one space after a period instead of two. I wonder how much HTML’s ignoring of extra spaces influenced that? Then I read another post describing how you can put punctuation after quotes rather than inside them if they aren’t style specific, and that it’s the official way to do it in Brittan.

The show began with a “sneak preview”, held at the hotel. He made his debut singing in “Faust”.
Perfectly legal. Thinking about some of the red ink on my papers in high school, perhaps I was just ahead of my time.