Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Where was that method or exemplar defined?

Do you ever want to know the source file for a particular method? You can use the class browser to jump to the code or you can do this...

MagikSF> circle.method(:new|()|).source_file

Most of the time, jumping to a method is faster in the Class Browser than using this code snippet.

But what if you want to jump to the file where the actual class exemplar (not the method) is defined? Then you can do this...

MagikSF> circle.method(:exemplar).source_file

I know of no way to do this latter action from the Class Browser.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

#FME Users Exchange at #swuc topics

The FME Users Exchange at the 2010 Smallworld Users Conference will take place in Baltimore, Maryland on Thursday, September 9 from 1pm to 4pm (EDT). You can read more details of the agenda at

I will be presenting a section on "Best Practices: Tweaking FME-Magik code to improve your FME experience in Smallworld". It turns out that I have more material to cover than the approximately 30 minutes allotted to me. So in the spirit of conference collaboration, I thought I would put all my proposed topics up for a vote. The topics with the most votes get moved to the top of my presentation list. The ones with the least votes get used as filler at the end :)

Please vote on the topics here ( you are also welcome to add your own topics).

See you in Baltimore!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How much does an alternative contribute to file size?

If you want determine how much a particular alternative contributes to the overall size of a .ds file, use these debug methods...

_local v << gis_program_manager.cached_dataset(:gis)


See the public comments for ds_version_view.file_usage() for a description of the data that is returned. Based on that, you can figure out what percentage of total blocks used is attributable to a particular alternative.

This can give you guidance for which alternatives to merge/post/delete, etc.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Promote your #SWUC 2010 items here

When I attend Smallworld Users Conferences, I typically don't get around to all the booths because I get busy with other things. So I usually feel like I have missed some good demonstrations and presentations by the time the conference is done. So I thought that it would be helpful for the various Smallworld vendors/exhibitors/presenters to promote what they were planning to share at the conference.

So here's my idea.
1. Get your Twitter account going (if you don't already have one)
2. start posting short tidbits about what you are planning for the conference. Be sure that you use the hashtag #swuc.

From now until the conference, I will keep a dynamic Twitter feed on that hashtag running at the top of this blog. This will be a way for us to get Smallworld-related commercial content onto this blog without anyone having to receive them in their RSS readers or inboxes. Come back to this blog often to see the latest updates. Or you can browse to #swuc to see the results on the Twitter search page. You could embed the Twitter search results in your own blog or company web page as well to spread the love.

I would love to see posts about stuff like:
  • will you be attending?
  • what demos you will give at your booth
  • if you don't have a booth, say that you will be representing your company anyways and would love to meet with customers (tell them which bar to meet you at)
  • presentations you will be doing or are interested in
  • thoughts on trends/topics at the conference
I'm thinking that a lively contribution stream will make the conference that much more interesting. And if for no other reason, please post so that it doesn't become just an iFactor Consulting promotion stream :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Smallworld and the Big World #swuc

Recently the organizers for the Smallworld Americas Users Conference sent out an e-mail related to booking your exhibit booth. If you saw the subject line and ignored the e-mail (maybe because you are not a vendor), you would have missed a significant announcement. I have copied the announcement here in case you missed it...

====begin announcement====

This year we are introducing a new session on the agenda that may interest you…it is open to all attendees including customers, partners, and GE staff:

Smallworld and the Big World – Saturday September 11th 2:45-4:30pm, with a 15 minute break at 3:30

After a week of concentrating on products and applications within the Smallworld community, we’d like to shift the focus outside: how we relate to the bigger world.

This session is an open forum to discuss things like:

· visibility (making Smallworld and MapFrame more visible in the geospatial arena)

· standards (OGC and others)

· policy (stimulus, other government actions)

· technology trends (smart phones, neo-geo, social networking)

· organizations (sources of information and influence).

====end announcement====

I particularly am interested in the "technology trends" item. I have started doing work with integrating OpenStreetMap (neo-geo) with Smallworld (paleo-geo?) and now seeing that GE is going to have a forum about that is very encouraging. My presentation on OSM and Smallworld integration is currently scheduled for the same time as the open forum, but I am trying to get the time changed so I can be part of the forum as well.

I also see that they want to discuss social networking. In a past blog I have suggested that conference attendees try tweeting about all things conference-related under the hashtag #swuc. I think the amount of traffic on that hashtag could be gauge of how much the Smallworld community is already into this technology trend.

Could GE encourage their attending employees to start tweeting/blogging about conference proceedings? That would be very encouraging.

Exciting things happening in the Smallworld realm!