Open Source Contributions for July/August 2019

Between the months of July and August I had a month of travel. Part of that was a three week trip to southern Europe and another week at my first astrodynamics conference in a very long time (the AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialists Conferenec). Because of that I actually forgot to post some of the things that I had been up to for the first half of July, before my trip. I’m therefore combining my open source contributions update to cover both months in one post. One of the biggest shifts you’ll see is my focus for the time being. While I spent much of May and June focusing on Avalonia or development using it my focus in the past couple months, and for the time being, is shifting to a project called B612 Foundation which is a non-profit organization looking to make strides in improving our ability to track near-Earth asteroids and give us enough warning time to mitigate a potential impact if one is predicted to occur. The work I’m doing on their open source astrodynamics engine and related tools is the perfect merger of my interests and technical capabilites: software engineering and aerospace engineering.

  • Diaspora
    • With news that Diaspora was hopefully soon pushing out their new release with the API I went through the process of dusting off a Kotlin library which interfaces with it and getting my comments session capablities for my blog around it ready to go. See this blog post for more details.
  • Feneas
    • I’ve been a member of Feneas since last year and have hypothetically volunteered to provide some more volunteer horsepower but until this month this was more abstract. Starting the end of August I’ve been looking at ways I can contribute more than just financially and with camaradarie. A lot of what the assistance could be in IT/DevOps type stuff that I’m not especially strong in but that I’ve wanted to shore up in my career over the last couple years. So I’m looking forward to getting more familiar with these technologies as I ramp up assisting more.
  • B612 Foundation
    • Again I’m ramping up on this project so my contributions to date have been mostly in the guise of meetings and learning what I need to help contribute. However to help with that there were a couple more things.
    • Attended the AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialists Conferenec conference focusing on sessions that could be useful for our particular use cases even though the conference is mostly focused on satellite propagations and trajectory designs.
    • Created a Python-based (not great Python though since very rusty) mock-up of an orbit determination workflow using the OpenOrb command-line tool. This is openly available in my public CodePad on Gitlab.
  • Orlando Linux Users Group
    • I had the pleasure of doing a bunch of happy hours and “lunch and learn” style meetings with a local MeetUp around Linux and open source software development. I’m starting to contribute more to that group as well to attempt to open up the availability around it. I just love shooting the shit about tech topics over beers so the more the merrier if nothing else.