Writer’s Block

It’s been an unusually long period of inactivity on the blog. I have been experiencing probably my worst case of writer’s block since I (re)started this blog over eight years ago. It’s not as though I’ve not been working on interesting things. I have been helping implement a data publication system for a large federal agency that’s built with mostly open-source technologies. As a result, I’ve gotten very comfortable with Node, JavaScript and many of the supporting devops tools that have grown up around them. I’ve also gotten to get my hands dirty with PostgreSQL and GeoServer again as well as gain some experience with Voyager Search, which is a very powerful commercial search/indexing tool for geospatial data. I also find myself intrigued by What3Words. Maryland’s Open Data Council continues its work under the new gubernatorial administration, with some early successes. I’ve also gotten to know some top-notch students through my online teaching gig. Probably the biggest ongoing challenge/vexation is the continued inability to attract developers to support our Navy customer. This has left the project short-handed and has stretched everyone (including me) pretty thin.

So there’s a lot to mine there, in theory, but I can’t really decide what I want to write about any of it. This is perhaps for the best. Outside of work, these are busy times for my family as school and activities reach a crescendo. All of that is a far greater priority, so maybe this bout of writer’s block is simply a subconscious way of telling myself to focus on what’s important. I’ll take that for what it is.

I have always treated this blog as a somewhat organic entity. Despite spring breaking out all around me, my blog is telling me it needs to hibernate for a bit. So, I’ll respect that and trust that the next topic I feel compelled to write about will present itself in due time.

  • Hi Bill, I like to spend time in nature when I’m feeling stuck. Jogging in woods works the best. Then ideas starting to somehow appear organically. I wonder about the data publication system you’ve mentioned: did you face any challanges when it comes to use the open source components?

    • Hi Kuba, thank you for the advice. I’ve been working in the garden a bit more lately. I’m sure things will break loose eventually. We have yet to face any challenges regarding our open-source selections. The users seemed much more concerned about keeping their current commercial desktop GIS, which is not affected by what we are doing so they’ve been pretty open to our open-source back end.

      • I’m glad to hear it’s working out, Bill. I was wondering if you’re in desktop land too so thanks for the clarification. BTW, maybe a case study would get you going? Anyway, just a thought, thanks for the reply.