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Comment Re:It's straightforward (Score 5, Insightful) 587

I don't think that Miguel is all that popular. The last time I saw a long thread with him here, he suffered pretty badly. Making mono a dependency in Gnome exposes the project to unnecessary risk.

I respect Stallman far more than de Icaza, both for his thoughts and his actions over the years. Stallman is often taken out of context, but he is very consistent, and his statements almost always make sense years later - sometimes prophetically so.

There are a group of people (mostly affiliated with corporations) who have a hate-on for Stallman, because he values his principles more than he does development speed, ease of use, profits, or being able to use the latest shiny thing from MS.

Comment Still prefer the suite, just for the browser (Score 1) 185

Been using it since way back around M8, when it was still the Mozilla Suite. Thanks to the Seamonkey crew for keeping it alive. Firefox hasn't been faster in a long time, and the menus and configurability of Seamonkey offer far more configuration options. I deny cookies as my default, and allowing session cookies for a given site is a PITA on Firefox that requires diving through the preferences. In Seamonkey, it's right there in a menu, takes under a second. At the risk of starting a flamewar, Firefox reminds me a bit of Gnome - no options, because the developers don't think you can handle them. Seamonkey is a bit more like KDE - enough options in the dialogs to tweak it to your satisfaction.

I use both, but make sure that Seamonkey is installed on the machines that I spend a lot of time using. I haven't checked in a while to see if it still has about:kitchensink and the Book of Mozilla, but I loved having a browser that included everything and the kitchen sink.

Comment Re:Your might think it's unimportant. (Score 2, Informative) 51

We already know, as there are manual snow course surveys and snow pillows all over the place. Here is a list of 400 or so (some are historic and no longer sampled) snow courses in BC. Many of those get visited every two or four weeks from Jan-Feb through June each year.

I've done the surveys, and you need to measure both snow depth, and moisture content. The process of manual measurement hasn't changed in decades - you drop a metal tube into the ground, pull it up, dig out the soil, measure the weight of the snow that the tube collected, and the depth of the snow. Of the two numbers, the overall moisture content is of greater interest. I hardly even look at snow depth when trying to decide if the water systems I run are facing a drought - the moisture content compared to historic trends is what matters most.

Even then, snow depth is only a guide. If you get high evaporation rates during spring freshet, or lots of wind and moisture loss, what appears to be a healthy snowpack in April can turn into near-record low runoff by June. This year that is exactly what happened in my region. We had a good snowpack, with normal amounts of water equivalent in April, but by June, very little runoff to the reservoirs had taken place. This mostly affected the low and mid elevation watersheds in the Okanagan. The really high elevation watersheds such as Mission Creek had normal runoff, while adjacent watersheds such as Mill and Hydraulic Creeks ended up with varying levels of drought.

More data is always a good thing, but the moisture content matters more than the depth. And even if the data looks promising, that can change in a matter of weeks. You never really know for sure how much water you're going to get until the reservoirs stop filling.

Comment Re:Not the issue.... (Score 1) 757

Anecdote for you - not Linux specific, but it relates to software familiarity.

I had a summer student doing some basic GIS work for me this year. Bright guy, third year civil engineering student, familiar with Autocad.

We tried a few different open source gis packages. Based on ease of use, features, and what we needed, I had already narrowed down the likely candidates to QGis and Openjump. QGis has an interface reminiscent of Arcview, which I used for a few projects back in the late 90s. Openjump has an interface that is more cad-like.

I preferred and was more productive in QGis. He preferred and was more productive in Openjump. He used Openjump, which was fine with me - it got the job done.

Comment Oh goody. Youtube comments everywhere (Score 5, Interesting) 221

Experience has provided me with some skepticism regarding the intelligence of crowds. This Sidewiki would be like having a running commentary on the web, written by the same type of people who write Youtube comments and -1 rated comments on Slashdot.

Thanks, but no thanks. Hope that one dies in beta, unless they figure out how to filter out the crap, and bring the valuable contributions to the top. They could start by testing their filters on Youtube.

Comment Re:what a relief .. (Score 1) 106

I haven't used Access since Office 97 or 2000. Base is pretty close in features to those, but I don't think it is up to the latest versions of Access. I'm using Base at work for asset inventory reporting and water quality database (replacing excel, which is all that the techs have used in the past).

I haven't been able to get the Sun report builder extension working yet in either Linux or Windows, but that is about the only piece that is missing. I can generate reports, but the graphing crashes, and that is what I want.

If it was important enough to me, I'd just install Pentaho and use that for reports, but I don't really need the reporting tools yet. They should be more stable by the time I need them.

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In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982