Tag: opinion

A quiz about Apple, the shameless company.

Posted by – Saturday 2012-08-25

I have a question, for you, smart readers of this humble blog. Maybe one of you can help me.

On August 24th, 2012 a jury in a federal court in California, United States of America, ruled that the South Korean company Samsung violated some of Apple Inc’s patents. Among the violated patents, some of them are as absurd like a rectangle with round corners.

However, in 1994 Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, claimed that «… we have been always shameless about stealing great ideas.»

So the question is: how can you claim that stealing is great and years later sue a competitor for doing the same you «shameless» did some years ago?


Die, IE6, die: the IE6 countdown.

Posted by – Monday 2011-03-07

Once upon a time, after the first web browsers war, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) was the king of the web browsers. IE6 was the most used one, given not only its technical merits but also the dominance of Microsoft on the desktop operating system arena and its anticompetitive practices.

Bill Gates, the United States v. Microsoft trial

Bill Gates, USA v. Microsoft Trial (picture taken from Wikipedia.org)

IE6, as well as IE5, was a pain for web developers – like me – because of its many and intentional incompatibilities. The additional work needed to make a website viewable with IE6 was error prone, frustrating and time consuming.

The first IE6 beta version was realeased in March 2001. About 51 months later, the first beta of the next major version was released. Meanwhile, IE6 also became obsolete: for instance, other web browsers like Firefox, Opera or Safari featured tabbed browsing or full support for PNG format images, while IE6 didn’t.


Some TileCache deficiencies (and workarounds).

Posted by – Sunday 2010-11-14

TileCache, as every piece of software complex enough, is not free of deficiencies. In this post I write about some TileCache features (or lack of) which, in my opinion, are deficiencies. These are: (a) a TileCache layer will only work with one set of map resolutions, (b) poor logging, (c) the TileCache seeder always stops on error, (d) the TileCache seeder cannot be restarted from a given point and (e) the lack of support for distributed computing. In some cases a workaround to partially overcome limitations is given.

TileCache version 2.11 is covered in this post.

1. Only one set of map resolutions per TileCache layer.

By nature WMS caches work with finite sets of map resolutions. In my opinion, one deficiency of TileCache is that a layer will only work with one set of map resolutions. For each layer the set of map resolutions is set in the configuration file by using the parameter ‘resolutions’ or by giving both ‘maxResolution’ and ‘zoomLevels’ parameters.

The problem comes when you have to work with more than one set of map resolutions. Say you have a WMS layer named ‘municipalities-boundaries’ that it is cached and must be shown at two different sets of map resolutions, say one with maximum map resolution 100 and the another one with map maximum resolution 200. In this case there would be two possible workarounds. One of them is creating two TileCache layers, say ‘municipalities-boundaries-200’ and ‘municipalities-boundaries-100’, as show in the following TileCache configuration file snippet: