The open source software initiative 52°North is an open international network of partners from research, industry and public administration. Its main purpose is to foster innovation in the field of Geoinformatics through a collaborative R&D process. The R&D process takes place within 52°North R&D communities, which develop new concepts and technologies (examples include: for managing near real-time sensor data, integrating geoprocessing technologies into SDIs, and making use of GRID and Cloud technologies). These communities evaluate new macro trends, such as the Internet of Things, the Semantic Web or Linked Open Data, and find ways to unfold their use in practice.
As a returning Google Summer of Code mentoring organization, 52°North was particularly thrilled to have four students work on different projects in the fields of Sensor Web, Geostatistics and Geoprocessing this summer. 52°North’s overall goals for the projects were to improve the usability of the products and extend the user base to new domains.
Khalid Alqinyah created a new admin web application for the 52° North Web Processing Service (WPS). This new application will improve the WPS back end code with an updated implementation and provide the front end with a new and ergonomic user interface.
Patrick Noble added support for seismic data within the 52° North Sensor Observation Service. This seismic data will then be visualized by the Sensor Web Client. The result of his work will be a comprehensive toolkit for publishing and visualizing seismic data.Jinlong Yang developed classes and methods that enable trajectory analysis in the R language. We expect this enhancement to become a valuable tool for all researchers dealing with trajectory data as it will open up R for a whole range of new application scenarios.
Mohammad Ahmed Hamed Yakoub implemented the Open Sensor Search (OSS) idea in an agile software development process. OSS is a platform for the discovery of in-situ sensor data. The resulting discovery solution will become a cornerstone within the 52°North Sensor Web framework, allowing the development of more sophisticated client applications.
By Jan Schulte, 52°North Organization Administrator
In August 2010, the University of Cambridge and Google published the Capsicum security model at the USENIX Security Symposium. Initially funded by a Google Faculty Research Award, Capsicum combines security ideas from historic research capability systems with contemporary operating-system design to allow robust, fine-grained, flexible, and application-centred sandboxing. Since 2012, Google Open Source Programs Office and the FreeBSD Foundation have been jointly funding continuing open source development to transition Capsicum from research to practice; Google also has summer students working on Capsicum through Google Summer of Code under the FreeBSD organization.
The project has been led by FreeBSD developer Pawel Dawidek, who has refined the Capsicum model as our experience has grown, updating existing privilege-separated applications to use Capsicum (e.g., OpenSSH and dhclient). Pawel has also adapted new applications to use Capsicum compartmentalisation "out-of-the-box", including system tools services (e.g., tcpdump, kdump,the high-availability storage daemon [hastd], the security audit-trail distribution daemon [auditdistd]), and UNIX pipeline components (e.g., grep, uniq). The goal is to move gradually towards ubiquitous sandboxing: since it is cheap (and often easy), explore what happens when you try to do it everywhere, mitigating as-yet unknown future vulnerabilities.
A key contribution of this work is the Casper application framework. Casper manages the creation of sandboxes, launching them on demand with only the rights they require to operate (Saltzer and Schroeder's 1975 Principle of Least Privilege). Existing applications can be linked against Casper to make use of a growing suite of Casper components, including sandboxed DNS resolution, delegation of file-system subsets, cryptographic random number generation, network services (such as sockets), system monitoring interfaces (via sysctl), and system databases such as the user and password files.
Pawel's current work is due to wrap up later in 2013. FreeBSD 10.0 will ship with Capsicum enabled by default and a suite of sandboxed applications.
TimVideos.us is a group of projects which together create a system for doing both recording and live event streaming for conferences, meetings, user groups and other presentations. The project combines both software (gst-switch, streaming website and tools, speaker tracking, etc.) and hardware projects (HDMI2USB - A HDMI/DVI Capturing Solution). Parts of the system have been been used at large open source conferences such as Linux.conf.au, PyCon US and others.
Google Summer of Code 2013 has generously funded three students to work on the following TimVideos.us projects:
EDID Database Website - Code
Extended display identification data (EDID) is a data structure provided by a digital display to describe its capabilities to a video source. Many devices ship with bad or misleading EDID information. The goal of this project is to develop a website to list EDID information, allowing users to browse, search and update them.
Developing Python API for gst-switch - Code gst-switch aims to do interactive live mixing of incoming video streams, designed to meet the needs of conference recording. Designed as a flexible replacement for DVSwitch, and based around GStreamer, this project aims to develop a Python API for controlling and testing gst-switch.
Porting Flumotion to the Gstreamer-1.0 API - Code Flumotion is a streaming media server which uses Gstreamer at its core. GStreamer recently released it's 1.0 API which is not compatible with the old 0.10 Flumotion.
We hope that through our projects, the costs and expertise currently required to produce live streaming events will be reduced to near zero. We wish to develop a system where everyone has the ability to record presentations and host live remote participants across the globe.
By Tim Ansell, TimVideos.us Google Summer of Code Organization Administrator and Mentor
lmonade is a scientific software distribution that can be installed without administrative rights on Unix based systems. Building on the Gentoo packaging system, we hope to solve the dependency nightmare experienced by all sufficiently complex scientific software packages which have release schedules that do not fit the restrictions of packagers for large GNU/Linux distributions.
We are thrilled to be a part of Google Summer of Code as a new organization this year. As an umbrella organization, lmonade promotes ideas to improve various open source/free mathematical software, especially computational algebra projects.
After the midterm evaluations, we are continuing the Google Summer of Code with 4 projects:
Tom Bachmann - C++ wrapper for FLINT -
FLINT is a highly optimized library for performing computations in number theory, written in C. This project aims to create C++ wrappers using expression templates, which compile down to code which achieves performance as close to native C as possible.
Remus Barbatei - Continuous integration platform for lmonade -
This project is about improving the existing CI infrastructure used by lmonade to take advantage of the build instructions and dependency information stored in its package repository and easily set up nightly testing facilities for more scientific software packages.
Verónica Suaste - New decoding algorithms for error correcting codes in Sage
- The main goal of this work is to implement decoding algorithms based on Gröbner bases methods in Sage. While improving the coding theory module of Sage, this will provide the opportunity to compare performance of this new algorithm with implementations in computer algebra systems.
Ioana Tamas - Binary decision diagrams for Boolean polynomial rings
- Zero-suppressed binary decision diagrams are used by Polybori for efficiently representing Boolean polynomials. At the moment, they are manipulated via CUDD, which is not specialized on these types of diagrams and only uses C in the implementation. The goal of this project is to implement an independent library in C++ that is specialized on zero-suppressed binary decision diagrams.
We wish all our students continuing success in their projects.
By Burcin Erocal, lmonade Organization Administrator