So what’s new in OpenVDM v2.1?
In terms of functionality… not much. This release was really about polishing what was already there and simplifying OpenVDM’s installation and updates.
The new version is posted on the GitHub site, just be sure to select the 2.1 branch. Once this code base has some more hours of use at-sea I plan to officially tag it as v2.1 and merge it back into the master branch.
First off I’ve developed a python-based OpenVDM package and rewrote all the OpenVDM processes to use it. This has resulted in much cleaner code and better code reuse. Having this python package will also help vessel operators develop their own ship-specific software able to leverage the OpenVDM API.
I still need to better document this package and plan to do so using one of the standard python self-documenting packages (recommendations welcomed).
The hooks architecture has now been mostly implemented. This is a really exciting feature within OpenVDM. It will allow vessel operator’s to leverage OpenVDM for triggering other processes like start-of-cruise scripts on remote machines, automated data processing that starts when new data arrives and end-of-cruise clean-up scripts running on remote machines.
YAML-formatted Configuration Files
Wherever possible I have removed hard-coded configuration data from the code base and moved that information to YAML-formatted configuration files. This will dramatically simplify the install process by placing all the vessel-specific configuration in just a few files.
One big piece of functionality that has been moved to YAML is layout of the data dashboard. While I’m sure the implementation is incomplete (I’m just waiting for someone to break it) it is working. In fact the data dashboard on the demo site is now completely built using one configuration file! This new architecture should allow vessel operators to build and alter their data dashboard on the fly without having to write any code!
Joining the Web Development 2.0 Movement
Hey nobody’s perfect and when the users of OpenVDM tell me there’s a problem I do my best to resolve the issue. Everything I was aware of that was broken has been fixed (go ahead… prove me wrong).
I had a great time at the Ocean Sciences 2016 meeting in New Orleans and had some great conversations with folks. I’d be thrilled to see any/all of those conversations lead to new users. If you think you might be interested but are unsure if/how OpenVDM could help manage data on your vessel, please don’t hesitate to contact me at oceandatarat (at) gmail (dot) com.